Other candidates don’t refer to his lobbying career
Tom DaviesNew Castle: The five Republicans who want to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh shared a stage for the first time just hours after the race for the Democratic pick cleared up more, with Rep. Baron Hill saying that he would seek re-election to the House and endorsed Rep. Brad Ellsworth for the Senate seat.
None of the four other Republican candidates at Saturday’s Henry County GOP event brought up the questions that Coats has faced over his work as a Washington lobbyist and his years spent away from Indiana.
All drew frequent applause from the crowd of about 200 people in a Moose lodge by faulting President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress for their handling of the economy, push for revamping the health care system and increased federal spending.
“Washington is completely out of touch with America,” said state Sen. Marlin Stutzman of Howe. “I believe that people voted to change Washington, not to change America.”
Coats has the backing of national Republicans since he launched his Senate campaign Feb. 3, but his attempt at a political comeback 18 years after he was last on a ballot didn’t prompt any of the other candidates to drop their campaigns.
Coats reassured the crowd Saturday of his intentions if he wins the party’s nomination in the May 4 primary.
“I’ve re-engaged because I care deeply about my country and care deeply about the future of this country and am fearful, absolutely fearful, about where we’re headed,” he said.The Republican primary campaign has taken on greater importance since Bayh’s Feb. 15 announcement that he wouldn’t seek a third term