The 4th Congressional District is currently represented by outgoing Republican Rep. Todd Rokita. Since 2010, Baird has represented District 44 in the Indiana House of Representatives. Baird faces Democratic challenger Tobi Beck for the open seat.
[Editor's note: Despite multiple attempts to reach Baird by phone, U.S mail, email and social media over a six-week period, he did not respond to us or the questions from readers we posed. Therefore, we are only publishing Beck's answers.]
CANDIDATE PROVIDED BIOGRAPHY
CANDIDATE PROVIDED BIOGRAPHY
Challenger: Tobi Beck
Veteran, foster mother, and experienced security and technology professional Tobi Beck is an accomplished, proven leader. A proud Hoosier for over a dozen years, Tobi made her home alongside her husband in Avon. With a family that moved from state to state due to her father’s job, Tobi traveled the country growing up. Watching her father work with small business owners to rescue and reform their companies into profitable ventures, Tobi saw first-hand what makes a successful venture, and concluded early-on that success depends on people.
Continuing a generations-old family tradition of military-service, Tobi enrolled in the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps as soon as she entered college. She enlisted in the Army upon graduation, was branched to the Military Police and assigned to a Strategic Force (STRAF) Unit. After rigorous training in law enforcement, military operations in the battlefield, special weapons security, and more, she was assigned to the 571st Military Police Unit and spent much of her time deployed on various missions, including to Cuba for Operation Safe Harbor helping Haitian refugees, and in Somalia, just a few months prior to the famous incident depicted in the film Black Hawk Down.
After active duty, Tobi joined the Reserve and started her career in security design and internet technology. In 1996, she was called to Atlanta in the wake of the bombing at Olympic park, to help design and build better security for the city. In 1999, she led a technology team to mitigate the effects of “Y2K” in Silicon Valley, and in 2001, she was once again asked to help serve as additional security after the attacks of 9/11.
Fighting for the Fourth. Tobi Beck now resides in Avon, Indiana, with her husband, two cats, and a giant schnauzer. A foster parent for more than a decade, over the years Tobi has opened her home and heart to more than two dozen Hoosier children in need. Tobi and her husband adopted three of those children, two of whom are now military servicemen with the third having chosen the medical profession.
As a community leader, Tobi has served as a Red Cross volunteer, taught CPR to hundreds of soldiers and civilians, and organized a campaign to provide winter hats to underprivileged children. A member of the historical education organization, the SCA, Inc., Tobi was proud to host the international organization’s 50th year celebration in Hendrick’s County, bringing over $3 million to local businesses.
A dedicated community leader, devoted foster parent and wife, service woman, and experienced professional, Tobi Beck knows that it’s time for a new voice in Congress. That’s why she’s running for the fourth district in Indiana. Tobi has fought for her country, her family, and her community – now, she’s fighting for the Fourth.
RE: CONGRESSIONAL DYSFUNCTION
NUVO: Our reader, Evelyn Channelle Brown Jones, asks: Do you think Congress is working? If not, what will you do differently to make it work?
Beck: I believe that our current Congress has drifted away from its intended purposes. When our Congressional representatives spend more time focused on raising money than on listening to and advocating for their constituents, we know that we have a problem. If we want a change in how politics is done, we have to be that change. My campaign has focused on people instead of special interests. I have toured all 16 counties in this district, attended every county fair, and am proud to say I will meet with and speak to anyone who is interested in having a conversation. I have accepted each and every invitation to attend a candidate forum or debate, and I will continue to do so. I believe that we can't move forward unless we do so together, and I am dedicated to representing our entire district, not just those that agree with one side or another.
RE: MEDICARE FOR ALL
NUVO: Our reader, Deanna Menke, 23, Indianapolis, asks: How will you guarantee access to quality, affordable healthcare for all Hoosiers? Do you support Medicare for All?
Beck: Our representatives' jobs are to consider all options available to deliver the best solution for everyone. I support access to quality and affordable healthcare for all Hoosiers. I believe that a great option for our country could be based on an expanded model of Tri-Care, the health insurance that our military service members currently receive. Tri-Care currently provides comprehensive health coverage for over 9 million soldiers and their families. It works for our service members and it can work for the American people.
RE: GUN VIOLENCE
NUVO: Our reader, Ann Stack, Indianapolis, asks: Children don’t die from gun violence in other countries the way they do in the United States. Can guns be viewed as a public health issue or do we value guns more than our children?
Beck: Any time that we see human lives being lost to a preventable cause, we must view this as a public health issue. As a combat veteran and card-carrying member of a gun range, I support the 2nd Amendment. However, I believe that there are actions we can take right now that will help us move forward together on this issue. There are proposals, such as the universal application of background checks and banning bump-stocks, that law enforcement, gun store owners, and Mom’s Demand Action members can all agree will help curb the violent misuse, and accidental misuse, of guns. This is where we should start -- the point where we can agree, rather than shy away or alienate others from this conversation.
RE: ANTHEM PROTESTS
NUVO: Like your opponent, you are a veteran. What do you think of the NFL player anthem protests?
Beck: I was a member of the Army Military Police (MP), and part of the job of an MP is to protect prisoners of war, often from our fellow soldiers. It forced me to separate my personal feelings from my duty. I believe that if NFL players knelt, head bowed, hand over heart, and said it in memory of our fallen soldiers, this would not have been considered a controversial act. But they didn’t, and it is. So, I believe that those who are upset with their actions are upset with what they had to say, not what they did. In all of this, I am reminded of my MP training and of that tried-and-true principle, “I may not like what you have to say, but I will defend to my death your right to say it.”
NUVO: Many people are speculating that if the Democrats retake the House, they will begin impeachment proceedings for President Trump soon after. What would be your criteria be to support impeachment?
Beck: The role of a Congressional Representative would be to hear evidence and determine if impeachment charges are warranted. I would commit to hearing all evidence fairly and voting based on what is presented. Impeachment should never be taken lightly or treated as a partisan issue, but only as a matter of law.