Published Wednesday 14 of April, 2010
Ken Hartman, Frankfort Times
ROSSVILLE – In past years, the 4 th Congressional District in Indiana has been highly saturated with Republican influence.
With the seat soon to be vacated by Republican Steve Buyer, Democratic candidates David Sanders and Tara Nelson stated reasons why change is needed during an election forum held Monday night at the Bennett Room.
“If we’re talking about what I can achieve for you, I can achieve far more than any other candidate,” said Sanders, associate professor of biological sciences at Purdue University. “I can achieve far more than our current representation. I understand the limits of what a congressman can do and I understand the impact I can have on specific issues.”
Sanders added he has the endorsement of the Democratic Party throughout the district. His opponent, he said, tried to run on the Republican ticket but was refused.
Nelson acknowledged that was true and explained the situation.
” I felt my values were more conservative and I felt it was only fair for me to run as a Republican. However, the Republican Party wouldn’t accept me. So I made a decision to join the conservative Democrats. I’m on the Democratic ballot whether the Democrats would like to acknowledge that I’m on the ballot or not.”
Sanders’ expertise concerns gene therapy, cancer research, biodefense and pandemic influenza. His responsibilities included inspecting a formerly secret bioweapons laboratory in Siberia.
“I had the opportunity to travel twice to Russia trying to make sure scientists there were no longer doing offensive research there,” Sanders said. “We were trying to prevent the spread of biological weapons.”
Sanders is making his third Congressional run after losing to Buyer in 2004 and 2006. He said he would continue to take input from his constituents in the 4 th District and use that when casting votes on legislation.
Nelson said Buyer hasn’t been listening to the district for a long time.
Sanders said what happens in Congress is about what is really happening within the committees.
According to Sanders, this area has tremendous farming, manufacturing, workforce and academic institutions in place.
“The new economy is coming,” Sanders said. “We have the resources here to handle the issues. My main thoughts are about what I can do for the people of the 4 th District and what my expertise allows me to do for them.”