NUVO's 2010 election guide 



The basics: An Evansville native, Ellsworth served for 25 years at the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's office, including eight years as sheriff. In 2006, he was elected to the U.S. Congress; he was re-elected in 2008.

The issues: For a Democrat, Ellsworth is fairly conservative: He's pro-life, voted against cap and trade, supports extending the Bush tax cuts, is against amnesty for undocumented immigrants, and supports the status quo with regard to gun laws. But he's voted Democrat on the marquee issues: pro health care reform, pro economic stimulus, and has voted against Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Endorsements: National Rifle Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Fraternal Order of Police, Indiana State Teachers Association, the United Auto Workers' Indiana Community Action Program, National Farmers Union

Highlight: His years as sheriff and his social conservatism should make him a viable Democratic candidate in a traditionally conservative state like Indiana. Voting record indicates he truly does seem to vote with his conscience, even when it isn't popular – with opponents or friends.

Lowlight: Ellsworth suffers from low name-recognition, weak funding, and a perception among national Democrats that the race is too far gone to be worth investment. Most polls put him behind by double digits. Politically, his conservative social views make some in the Democratic base a bit unenthusiastic.

DAN COATS (Republican)

The basics: Eight years as a U.S. Congressman, ten as a U.S. Senator. More recently, he served for six years as a lobbyist around Washington.

The issues: Coats is a dyed-in the wool social conservative and his positions line up accordingly: he's pro-life, against gay marriage, and takes a fairly hard line on immigration, supporting things like expedited deportations, overall immigration caps and English competency tests. On other issues he's a party-line candidate: He's against Obama's healthcare reform (a "monstrosity," and part of the "Obama-Pelosi-Ellsworth... liberal agenda"),against the stimulus package, and talks a tough game with regard to Iran.

Endorsements: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Citizens Against Government Waste, National Federation of Independent Business, National Right to Life, Indiana Right to Life, the Susan B. Anthony List

Highlight: Experience. With 18 years in Washington as an elected official for Indiana, Coats has already proven he knows how to navigate the Capitol Hill's shark-infested waters.

Lowlight: Experience. With 18 years in Washington as an elected official for Indiana, Coats is also the consummate insider. His six years of lobbying were spent working for oil companies, Wall Street banks, health insurers and a who's who of 21st Century bogeymen. Until he came back to Indiana to run for Senate again, he was living in Virginia.


The basics: According to her bio, Burris has no time in public office, but she is a mother of two Libertarian children and is very fond of landscaping.

Endorsements: Libertarian Party of Indiana.

The issues: Favors minimal federal intervention on every level, from schools to abortion to health care to taxes – this is what states are for, she says. Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme"; gay marriage isn't a federal issue for a U.S. Senator because it's not in the U.S. Constitution – states can address these questions if they want to. Et cetera.

Highlight: No phony tea-party style libertarianism here: she talks the talk and walks the walk.

Lowlight: No money. Bad press photos with stuffed animals.




An Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue University; true Hoosier Democrat with a heavy focus on fiscal responsibility and laissez-faire on gun laws; supports Obama's healthcare reform and would allow for more time in Afghanistan: "If there were one more scientist and one fewer lawyer/career politician in Congress, we would all be better off."


Has served as Indiana Secretary of State for seven years; pro-life, endorsed by the NRA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; supports across-the board spending cuts, the repeal of federal health care legislation, and making the Bush tax cuts permanent: "I'm running to stop out-of-control spending in Washington, reduce the national debt, deregulate and cut taxes."


An industrial electrician and electrical technician, Duncan boasts a distinctly and legitimately working class background; supports slashing taxes, reducing military spending so as to end America's role as the "police of the world"; slogan: "We need citizen legislatures instead of career politicians."




Fun fact: Crawford's opponent, Dan Burton, never loses. Another? This could explain why Burton's opposition is young enough to be his son. Twenty-nine year-old Crawford is a senior estimator for an Indiana construction company; his main focus is fiscal – lowering taxes, cutting spending. Though a Democrat, he is a self-proclaimed "conservative American": pro-life, pro Second Amendment, anti "cap and trade," anti public option, anti mandatory health insurance.


The incumbent since 1982, a lot of younger Hoosiers haven't known a time when Burton wasn't a Congressman. A self-styled Reagan Republican, whose priorities are cutting taxes and cutting spending, he's also a born-again Christian who attended the Cincinnati Bible Seminary; no surprise he's pro-life, anti gay marriage, and has fathered a child outside his marriage.


A self-proclaimed "sinner saved only by the grace of Jesus Christ," Reid is a teacher who has taught economics at Heritage Christian, finance at Plainfield High School, and is a leader of Young Life, a Christian youth group. If elected, he would work to repeal health care reform, cut taxes, and raise the eligibility age of Social Security.


A public school teacher of 24 years, this is Trueblood's first foray into politics. His positions are fairly middle-of the-road: he supports health care reform, but not in its current form; he's anti cap-and-trade, but all for reducing carbon emissions; pro-life, pro jobs.




Most of Indianapolis falls within the 7th district, and André Carson comes to this election with a fair amount of cred around town. His grandmother, Julia Carson, was a long-time Congresswoman and early pioneer for African-Americans and women in Indianapolis politics. André Carson graduated from Arsenal Tech. Politically, he's of one mind with party leadership: pro healthcare reform, pro stimulus, pro withdrawal from Iraq.


One of the country's few viable African–American Republican candidates for Congress, Scott, a sociology professor at Butler, walks an uneasy line. He courts the black community on one hand, but makes appearances at Southside, fundamentalist Christian rallies held by Advance America on the other. Lately, he's taken to attacking Carson for being one of two Muslims in Congress, having including "Fight Muslim Extremism & Protect Freedom of Religion" as one of his "14 Principles for America," and regularly blurring distinctions between regular Muslims and extremists.


Wilson did not respond to a photo request, so we don't know what he looks like. We do know from his Web site that he is "qualified" to tackle healthcare issues in Congress because he has paid thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for his son's hospitalization. Still, he says he has "never heard of someone being denied the medical treatment they need or deserve because of a cost," and that "we do NOT need the government controlling our healthcare and determining who should receive care either through statistics or random luck" (Wilson's use of ALL CAPS).




Co-founded a green Indianapolis-based architectural design company and was recognized as a "rising star" by the Small Business Administration. Has come under fire for allegedly inflating fundraising numbers.


Assistant director of the Department of Natural Resources under Gov. Daniels, who had to "learn to balance the needs of the environment with the needs of the business community." Scandalized when it surfaced he'd served on the Fishers Town Council months after moving out of the district. He also voted in the district using an old address. Not good for a job that's supposed to run elections in the state.


Did you know? Indiana currently requires a party to win 2 percent of the total vote in the Secretary of State race to make it on the ballot for the next four years? Wherry, a mechanical engineer by trade, wants to lower that threshold.




Quote: "My time as an Operations Manager in Non-Profit fund-raising has taught me that when people donate their hard earned dollars, they expect to know exactly where they go and how they will be spent."


Two-term incumbent: completed the installation of a fully integrated financial system, information from which has been used to facilitate a new transparency web portal,


Quick fact: Eric Knipe could not come up with a usable photo for NUVO to publish in this election preview. Neither could NUVO find one on his public Web site.




A graduate of Harvard and a Rhodes Scholar. Buttigieg wants to start by drawing down state investments in junk bonds and mortgage-backed securities.


Four-year incumbent with 30-years in the private sector. Invited Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio – called the "worst sheriff in America" by The New York Times because of alleged human rights abuses– to speak at one of his fundraisers.



Served as Executive Officer of the Marion County Sheriff Department
under Frank Anderson. Extra points for the most
Starsky-and-Hutch-style campaign video (read: most badass).

A police officer of 29 years, he's the father of six children,
grandfather to seven. Quote from Web site: "I love the USA! This is
the greatest country in the world, where I still get choked up as I
stand to sing our National Anthem!"




Former Diversity Affairs Director for the City of Indianapolis, Shackleford was responsible for helping coordinate events like the Circle City Classic, Indiana Black Expo, and the Butler Diversity Lecture Series. She has also held positions with the Indiana Department of Commerce and Clerk of the Supreme Court.


The incumbent, he originally supported a complete repeal of property taxes in favor of the so-called "Fair Tax," a broad-based consumption tax. Has since signed-on with the tax cap crowd. Best known, perhaps, as a perennial anti-immigration crusader bent on introducing Arizona-like laws to the State Senate.



Indy's version of Chuck Norris: Marion County Sheriff since 2002, Anderson also served as a U.S. Marshal for 23 years. He won the Martin J. Burke Award in 2001 for the most outstanding Marshal in the entire nation.


The incumbent, Merritt authored Indiana's Safe Haven Law in 2000, which allows a parent to anonymously drop-off a child, within 45 days of birth at any police station, fire station or hospital, no questions asked. A strong advocate in the Senate for renewable energy legislation.


No information is available about Hale on the "Mission" or "News" sections of Hale's Web site. The homepage states that "As a Libertarian, (Hale) believe(s) in being served by a small, non-intrusive government that is financially responsible, administratively competent and socially tolerant." There is also a nice photo of a blue sky filled with puffy, white clouds and a banner of stars.

Keelee Hurlburt and Derrick Carnes contributed reporting to this guide.

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