By Ronald Hawkins
October 17, 2010
MARTINSVILLE – Democratic congressional candidate David Sanders says he’s become a familiar face around the 4th District.
Sanders is facing Libertarian John Duncan and Republican Todd Rokita in the election to take the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Steve Buyer, R- Monticello.
On a recent morning, Sanders, a Purdue University biology professor, already had made several stops in the long, narrow district, including an appearance on an Indianapolis radio show and a visit to Dow Agri-Science in Zionsville. He had planned trips to another radio station in Monroe County and Bedford later in the day.
Since filing to run for the seat, Sanders has made more than 10 appearances in Morgan County, including parades, fairs, Democratic Party events, flood recovery celebrations and more. He’s also gone door-to-door. And some people are starting to remember that they’ve seen him before, he said.
“People are impressed that I’m out there,” he said. “I think it’s great. I love to meet people, and people enjoy meeting me.”
Voters are concerned about jobs, health care and government spending, he said.
Sanders said Rokita, the Indiana secretary of state, hasn’t been entirely accurate when he says he’s run his state office on the same budget as it had in 1987. Sanders said the secretary of state’s office is now able to use a portion of fees and fines it collects, and that the department’s spending has increased more than 50 percent.
Sanders said he’s also concerned that the $1.5 million spent in advertising by that department frequently features Rokita.
Despite that, Sanders said, “Practically no one knows who is the Republican candidate for Congress. They recognize the name because they’ve seen the TV commercials.”
Rokita has said he would fight “pork” and Sanders said he, too, is concerned about government spending.
Sanders has three standards for what he regards as necessary federal government spending: one, it is in the long term interest of America; two, it is good for the district as well; and three, it brings jobs.
Jobs, he said, is a key issue, adding that his scientific background has included the development of patented items.
“With one scientist and one less lawyer in Congress, we’d be better off,”
Sanders said. “I’d be the one and only life scientist in Congress.”
On health care, Sanders said people need safe and affordable health care.
“We need to prevent people from being kicked off insurance in high-risk groups,”
Sanders said. “There needs to be tax credit for small businesses that provide health insurance.”
Sanders said he’s heard objections to requirements that all people have health insurance and that he’d consider voting for the repeal of that requirement.
Although tea party members are generally considered closer to Republicans than Democrats, Sanders has attended tea party events in central Indiana.
“We didn’t agree on everything,” Sanders said, “but they appreciated my courage in showing up.”
About David Sanders
Residence: West Lafayette.
Profession: Biology professor at Purdue University.
Education: Undergraduate bachelor’s degree in molecular bio-physics and bio-chemistry from Yale University. Doctorate from University of California-Berkeley in chemistry.
Political experience: Previously ran for 4th District seat.
Family: Three sons.
Key issues: Dealing with issues such as climate change, pandemics, health care, all of which have a scientific basis. Employment. Ethical behavior of office holders. Maintaining communication with the voters at all times.