The field of candidates with thoughts of trying to replace Todd Young in Indiana’s 9th Congressional District includes at least two Democrats and six Republicans.
One Republican contender believes he possesses something that sets him apart from most if not all of the others in the crowded field.
“The thing that’s different about me is I am not a career politician,” Robert Hall of Bloomington said during a recent stop in Seymour. “I think people are fed up with career politicians.”
Other Republicans who have announced their intentions to replace Young, who is running for the U.S. Senate next year, are Brent Waltz, a state senator from Johnson County; Erin Houchin, a state senator from Salem; Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller of Indianapolis; Jim Pfaff, a conservative radio show host and Bloomington native; and Trey Hollingsworth, a Jeffersonville business owner.
Democrats announcing their intentions to run are Bill Thomas of Corydon and Shelli Yoder of Bloomington. Yoder, a Monroe County councilwoman, lost to Young by more than 33,000 votes in 2012.
The filing period begins Jan. 6.
Hall, who spent 40 years working in manufacturing as an executive and consultant, said his decision to run is based on his unhappiness with several things.
“I was just not happy with the direction of the country,” the 65-year-old Bedford native said. “I was disappointed that in my field, all of the jobs are going to China and Mexico. The government has made it easy to move these jobs out of the country, and I think we need to move them back.”
Hall said the little experience he has had in the political arena began when he served as a volunteer in Illinois while working there years ago.
“I was state chairman of the Young Republicans,” he said. “I helped some on campaigns.”
He moved back to Southern Indiana 12 years ago and helped Young when he was first elected to office in 2010.
“I raised money for him and made a lot of phone calls,” Hall said.
He also became a precinct committee member in Monroe County and started a group of grassroots Republicans that put up a lot of “Vote Republican” signs in that county.
Hall said that, after Young decided to go after the Indiana Senate seat currently held by Dan Coats, some conservative groups decided to support Hall’s candidacy.
He said that, if elected, one of the biggest tasks he would take on would be trying to bring back jobs that have left the country.
“There are several things that could be done,” he said. “The income tax is a disadvantage for us.”
He said countries without an income tax don’t have to build that cost into the products they ship here.
Hall said he would look at trying to implement a “fair tax” as a way of leveling the playing field.
“It would be a consumption tax instead of an income tax,” he said. “Everything I’ve read about that would be a tremendous boost for our country. You can decide if you want to buy something or you don’t want to buy something.”
He said there are other things hurting business, including Obamacare.
“We need another kind of medical plan that’s more market oriented and not government controlled like Obamacare,” he said.
Hall said Environmental Protection Agency regulations also are hurting industry.
“Government needs to have a more neutral position and not be hurting industry,” he said. “And that’s what they’re doing in a lot of different areas.”
Hall said he would like to see a national budget that’s balanced.
“There’s a lot of debt, and that’s hurting our country,” he said. “We can’t keep spending like there is no tomorrow.”
Hall also said the government is not able to vet people coming into this country.
“So we should put a hold on bringing the refugees coming in from Middle East countries,” he said. “We don’t want to bring in people who are going to cause terrorism. It’s not really our job to bring them in. They should be going to some of the other Middle East countries. They have refugee camps there.”
He said he’d like to see a wall go up along the Mexican border.
Hall said he’s probably more conservative than the other candidates.
“I have been involved with the tea party groups,” he said.
He said he agrees with those groups on many issues, including a constitutional amendment for terms limits and ending federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
“We need a strong military, but we don’t need to be nation building,” Hall said. “We don’t need to be fixing everybody else’s problems. We need to take care of our veterans. We are not doing a very good job of that. We are just not treating them fairly.”