Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

May 5, 2010

Coats, Rokita to take on federal nominations

By Charlee Beasor
CNHI

— Republicans Dan Coats and Todd Rokita will take on Washington if they make it through the November general election.

With 91 percent of precincts reporting as of press time, Coats has won the Republican nomination for U.S Senator.

"Thank you for your strong support," Coats told an audience when he accepted the nomination. "Thank you for voting for conservative leadership and Hoosier values. Thank you for bringing us to this big victory tonight."

Though Coats won across the state, Hendricks County voters thought Marlin Stutzman was the better man for the job, giving him 34 percent of the vote over Coats.

Gov. Mitch Daniels said in a press release that he had confidence in Coats' nomination.

"Dan Coats is squarely in the mainstream of Hoosier opinion in his concern about the direction Washington is trying to take our country," Daniels said. "He is going to win this election and be an important voice in countering the extremism we've witnessed the last year and a half."

In November, Coats will square off against Democratic candidate Brad Ellsworth for the senate seat. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Communications Director Eric Schultz said Hoosiers made a mistake in Coats and that Ellsworth will be tapped as the Democratic candidate in coming days.

"Tonight, Indiana Republicans chose a deeply flawed candidate by selecting a Washington lobbyist as their nominee," Schultz said in a press release. "While Washington lobbyist Dan Coats will do even more to protect big banks and corporate interests, sheriff Brad Ellsworth is focused on holding Wall Street accountable, and the needs of the middle class."

For the District 14 U.S. Representative seat, Hendricks County voters and voters across the state agreed that Secretary of State Todd Rokita would fit the bill.

The seat was up for grabs after Rep. Steve Buyer said he would not seek re-election.

Rokita won the majority in Hendricks County with 36 percent of the vote over a field of other Republican and Democrat candidates. In the state, with 97 percent of precincts reporting, he won with a slightly higher 41 percent.

Local candidates were Jon Acton, PJ Steffen, and Eric Wathen. In Hendricks County, Wathen took 20 percent of the vote, with Acton in third with just over 12 percent.

"Thank you to everyone who supported and helped us out through this primary campaign. I can't say it loud enough or often enough, thank you. This night belongs to you," Rokita said on his Facebook page, Todd Rokita for Congress.

All election results are unofficial until certified by election officials.

charlee.beasor@flyergroup.com