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Heitzman will face Messer in U.S. 6th District
Wednesday, May 07, 2014 11:00 AM
Voter dissatisfaction with Congress didn't stop Indiana's nine members of the U.S. House from breezing to victories Tuesday.
Although voters said they were unhappy with the job Congress was doing, three of the nine incumbents - Reps. Pete Visclosky, Jackie Walorski and Luke Messer - didn't face primary challenges, and none of the remaining six faced serious threats.
Messer, whose 6th District includes Jefferson County, will face Democrat Susan Hall Heitzman in November's General Election.
Heitzman won 9,006 votes - or 49 percent of votes - in the district to Lane Siekman's 5,464 votes and Corinne Westerfield's 4,069 votes.
Heitzman won in Jefferson County with 1,426 votes - 54 percent - to Siekman's 827 votes and Westerfield's 392 votes.
Rep. Marlin Stutzman, who easily defeated two Republican challengers in northeast Indiana and is expected to be heavily favored in the fall, said he understands why voters are upset.
"When you look at Congress as a whole and the policies that have come out of Washington, it's very easy for all of us to say that Congress is not getting the job done. I would be in that group as well," he said. "We need people in Washington who are going to understand that a balanced budget is important. That getting debt under control is important."
Rep. Larry Bucshon, who easily defeated conservative Andrew McNeil in southwestern Indiana's 8th District, said he thinks people are frustrated that the House and Senate are controlled by different parties and can't agree on issues.
"But I think they recognize their individual members are doing the best they can to represent their districts," said Bucshon, who will face Democrat Tom Spangler, a Jasper businessman, in November.
Tuesday's congressional primaries were a much quieter affair than the last two elections, which each featured only three open seats. All the incumbents will likely be favored in the fall, although Andrew Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, said Democrats' best chance might be in the 2nd District.
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