Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

April 23, 2010

Republicans circle around U.S. Senate race


Evan Bayh’s decision not run again for his seat in the U.S. Senate has brought several Republicans out to battle for a position on the November ballot — five to be precise.

The Republican nomination is being sought by Don Bates Jr., Richard Behney, Dan Coats, Brad Ellsworth, John Hostettler, and Marlin Stutzman.

Each of these candidates has offered information about themselves online. Here is their biographic information.

Bates is a sixth generation Hoosier, raised on a farm in Greensburg. Today he resides in Winchester with his wife of 15 years, Amy, and their sons Trae, 13, and Blake, 11. From his earliest days, Bates remembers being instilled with the values of hard work, honesty, and responsibility. In 1987 he graduated from Bethel Holiness Christian School in Columbus, and then went on to earn his Th.B. at the Bible Missionary Institute in Rock Island, Ill., in 1991.

He has never held an elected office. For a decade and a half he has worked in the business and financial services sectors.

Bates has served his community in a number of leadership positions, working as a board member of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement of Eastern Indiana, and the Star Gennett. He is also a member of the Rotary Club and Lions Club.

For more information about Bates, visit the website at www.donbatesjr.com

Behney and his wife, Laura, have three children. They moved to Fishers in 1994 from Tennessee and say they fell in love with Indiana.

Behney is the owner and CEO of Atta Boy Plumbing Company. He was born in Dayton, Ohio, and attended Wright State University from 1985 to ’89.

In 2008, he became a volunteer for the Hamilton County Republican Party. He took part in the Chicago Tea Party on Feb. 27, 2009.

Behney is the founder of the “Indy Defenders of Liberty” movement in Indianapolis and a founding member of the Indianapolis Tea Party movement.

For more information about Behney, visit the website at www.richardbehney.com.

Coats is a graduate of Wheaton College and a U.S. Army veteran. He worked for a Fort Wayne life insurance company and then moved to Indianapolis to work and attend Indiana University School of Law, where he earned a J.D. and was associate editor of the Law Review.

After completing his studies at IU, he served on the district staff of then-Congressman Dan Quayle and later served in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

Coats stepped down from the Senate in 1999. He then joined former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole as special counsel with the law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson, and Hand.

In 2001, he was called to serve as ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. His second day on the job was Sept. 11, 2001. As ambassador, he played a critical role in establishing relations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and in the construction of a new U.S. Embassy in the heart of Berlin, next to the Brandenburg Gate.

Since leaving Germany, Coats has worked at the law firm of King & Spalding while continuing his community service which started when he served as president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. He has served on the boards of many civic and volunteer organizations, including the Center for Jewish and Christian Values, which he co-chaired with Sen. Joe Lieberman. Coats is also currently co-chair of the Indianapolis-based Sagamore Institute for Policy.

Coats and his wife, Marsha, formed The Foundation For American Renewal to continue their engagement in faith-based initiatives. The couple, who met in college, have three grown children and seven grandchildren.

For more information about Coats, visit the website at www.coatsforindiana.com.

Hostettler was born July 19,1961, in Evansville. He and his wife Beth have four children and reside in Blairsville.

Following the first election of Bill Clinton to the presidency, Hostettler decided to run for the House of Representatives. During his tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives, he served on various committees including Committee on Agriculture (from 1995-2001), House Committee on Armed Services (1995-2007), and House Committee on The Judiciary (2001-07). He has also served as the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims (2003-07), and as vice-chairman of various subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee (1999-2007).

In 1995, in his first year in office, Hostettler successfully amended the District of Columbia Appropriations Bill to eliminate the “Domestic Partnership” policy of the D.C. government. In 1998, he traveled to Moscow as part of a Congressional delegation to discuss U.S. deployment of a national missile defense system with members of the Russian Duma.

Hostettler was presented the Distinguished Christian Statesman Award by the Center for Christian Statesmanship, a ministry of Coral Ridge Ministries and Dr. D. James Kennedy.

For more information on him, visit the website at www.johnhostettler.com.

Stutzman is a fourth-generation farmer who grew up in Howe. As co-owner with his father, Albert, he runs Stutzman Farms, farming 4,000 acres in the Michiana area. He is also owner of Stutzman Farms Trucking.

First elected to the Indiana State House of Representatives in 2002 at the age of 26, he served as the youngest member of the legislature until ‘06. He is now senator for District 13.

Stutzman was part of the Republican leadership team, serving as assistant majority whip and chairman of the Public Policy Committee, helping to guide the direction of policy and legislation at the Statehouse. He was elected to the State Senate in 2008 for District 13.

He and his wife, Christy, are the parents of Payton, 8, and Preston, 3.

Stutzman serves on the board of LaGrange Farm Bureau and they are active members of Community Baptist Church. He also enjoys going on mission trips, and has served in foreign countries including Russia, Haiti, Mexico, and Guatemala. He is a member of NFIB, ARC of Indiana, Indiana Farm Bureau, Howe Community Association, NRA, Northeast Indiana Right to Life, and has helped as an assistant coach of a Little League team in Howe.

For more information on him, visit the website at www.gomarlin.com.

Democrats, Libertarians, and Independents also have U.S. Senate candidates in the May 4 primary election.

Representing the Democrats is Brad Ellsworth.

Ellsworth was born and spent his early years in Huntingburg. When he was still in grade school, his family moved to Evansville where his father worked at Warrick County’s Alcoa plant.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Indiana (formerly Indiana State University-Evansville) and had worked in the paint and hardware department at Sears while in school to pay for his education. He later received a masters degree in criminology from Indiana State University.

In 1982, Ellsworth began his career in the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s office. Over the next 24 years, he held every merit rank. In 1998, he ran for sheriff and won in a landslide victory. He was unopposed running for a second term.

He has represented the 8th Congressional District since 2007, and currently serves on the House Agriculture, Armed Services, and Small Business Committees.

Ellsworth and his wife, Beth, reside in Evansville. They have a daughter, Andrea, who teaches special needs children in a Chicago public school and is looking forward to teaching in Indianapolis next fall. The family attends St. Agnes Catholic Church.

For more information on Ellsworth, visit the website at www.ellsworthforindiana2010.com.

Libertarian Rebecca Sink-Burris is also seeking the open seat, as well as Independents Don Harris and Timothy Frye.

Sink-Burris and her husband, Mark Burris, became sweethearts at Warren Central High School in Indianapolis. They’ve been married 35 years and have two children, Matthew and Lauren. Mark Burris owns Burris Engineering Inc., which manufactures precision metal parts for turbine engines.

The family resides on an old farm property surrounded by the Morgan-Monroe State Forest.

Sink-Burris said she discovered Libertarian ideas during her senior year of high school when an older sister handed her Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. She said it opened her eyes and she never looked back. Sink-Burris handed the book to her future husband right after she’d finished it, and he had a similar awakening.

Outside of Libertarian advocacy, Sink-Burris’ favorite activity is landscaping the property. Her political heritage includes a great-great grandfather who was a state legislator, as well as Sen. Richard Lugar, who is a distant relative.

For more information on her, visit Sink-Burris’ website at electrebecca.com.

Neither of the Independent candidates responded to requests for information, although Harris does have a website at www.publicparty.info.