Scott Allen, Monticello Herald Journal
The race for the 4th Congressional District seat heated up quickly Monday as Republicans Brandt Hershman and Todd Rokita announced their candidacies in the May Primary.
District 7 State Senator Hershman (Wheatfield) and Secretary of State Rokita join Cheryl Denise Allen, who filed on Thursday, in the Republican race for the seat that will be vacated by Rep. Steve Buyer.
David Sanders of Lafayette is the only Democrat to have filed for the seat as of Monday.
“I felt very confident that I was going to win … when Congressman Buyer was the candidate, and I feel very confident that I can win in November against any of the Republican candidates,” said Sanders.
Purdue biology professor Sanders is looking forward to new candidates to challenge. He runs on a campaign of science-minded progress and ethics reforms.
“A lot of the issues we face in society have a scientific or technological basis … and I think it is important to have some representatives that understand these issues,” he said as he watched his son, a West Lafayette wrestler, compete at Twin Lakes Monday.
“I also am very concerned about the lack of trust that the American people have in their elected officials. I believe that it is important to have new initiatives for introducing greater ethical standards in our government.”
Sanders looked forward to public forums against the Republican candidate who wins the Primary Election in May.
“I would guess these candidates won’t be afraid of participating in public forums,” he said. “Congressman Buyer simply didn’t have the guts to appear in any forum with me, or to debate me. I anticipate that will change.”
The Lafayette Democrat hoped to inspire faith in voters with a pledge not to accept campaign contributions from lobbyists or political action campaigns that have interests in committees on which he might serve.
“Unfortunately, and it goes across the aisle, our committee people are receiving campaign contributions from industries that they oversee,” said Sanders. “I think that’s a conflict of interest, and that won’t happen when I’m a congressman.”