Democratic congressional candidate discusses platform

Indiana Daily Student: In an effort to keep Indiana’s 9th congressional district in the hands of a Hoosier, Shelli Yoder is running for Congress again.

Yoder, the Democraic candidate, first ran for the position in 2012, but lost to Rep. Todd Young R-Bloomington . However, Young is running for the senate this year, which left his 9th district seat open and Yoder with the chance to run again.

Yoder, who was born in Shipshewana, Indiana, and crowned Miss Indiana in 1992, has lived in the state most of her life. Her opponent, Trey Hollingsworth, is a multimillionaire businessman from Tennessee who moved to Indiana last year.

“It’s outrageous,” Yoder said of Hollingsworth running.

Hollingsworth should not brag about coming into a state he moved to last year and claiming he knows how to represent it, said Mark Fraley, chair of the Democratic Party of Monroe County.

However, William Ellis, chairman of the Monroe County Republican Party, said that he does not feel this information is relevant. Hollingsworth has created jobs in Indiana, and that’s what is important, he said.

Yoder currently teaches at the Kelley School of Business and serves on the Monroe County Council, and she said she hopes to continue her work and be an advocate for Indiana in Washington, D.C.

“We can’t leave the 9th district behind,” Yoder said.

Rural counties that make up Indiana’s 9th District are the backbone of America and the economy, which is why the government needs to do everything in its power to support them, Yoder said.

Creating infrastructure, investing in education and creating an environment where small businesses can grow are key, she said, especially developing broadband internet across the more rural parts of the district.

The Cooks started their family business, Cook Medical, out of their garage, Yoder said. Access to broadband internet across the state will allow other Hoosiers to start their own small businesses like this more easily.

Support of Donald Trump illustrates the feeling many rural Indiana residents have that they have been left behind by their government, Yoder said.

The access to jobs has not been keeping up with the demand, she said. As an educator, Yoder said she emphasizes to her students what skills they need to possess and how they can best market themselves. The Indiana school systems need to do the same with all kinds of jobs, particularly trade.

Above all, Yoder said her intentions are clear, while her opponent Hollingsworth’s are not.

In the spirit of transparency, she has released her tax returns from the last five years, however, Hollingsworth refuses to do so and Yoder would like to know why.

Because Hollingsworth has not lived in the state long, the only way Indiana residents can see Hollingsworth’s business interests is through his tax returns, she said.

Ellis said he does not understand why voters need to see Hollingsworth’s tax returns, which contain personal information the public doesn’t need to know.

“It’s a weapon to distract from the real issues,” he said.

She has called on Hollingsworth to release his tax returns from the last five years, including the names, locations and descriptions of all of his businesses. “This is about him being able to line his pockets,” Yoder said.

In Washington, Yoder said she will tackle the national debt based on her experience on the County Council. The goal is to keep vital programs, while making cuts where possible, she said.

However, Yoder said she wants to cross the aisle, work with both parties and be the voice of the 9th district. Anyone, regardless of party affiliation, should be able to approach and trust her, she said.

“We have to get back to a bipartisan team,” Yoder said. “That’s the kind of leader I want to be.”