From the Bloomington Herald-Times:
In their first public appearance together, Republican primary contenders Todd Young and Mike Sodrel addressed a standing-room-only crowd at an event hosted by the Indiana University College Republicans Monday night. Young, a Bloomington attorney and retired U.S. Marine captain, and former U.S. Rep. Sodrel are competing for the chance to unseat Rep. Baron Hill, D-Seymour, from his 9th U.S. Congressional District spot in the November general election.
While the two contenders did not meet in a debate setting Monday night, Young challenged Sodrel to weekly debate sessions, to continue until the May 4 primary. Sodrel accepted Young's challenge. Although the whens and wheres of these weekly debates have yet to be established, Young said he hopes they can begin next week. He also said he'd welcome other primary contenders to the debates. Columbus real estate investor Travis Hankins has also thrown his hat into the Republican primary ring, but did not attend Monday night's public meeting at the Undergraduate Business Building.
Young told the group he plans to run a campaign focused on the issues of fiscal responsibility and individual liberty. As the country's economy is driving off a cliff, current Democratic leadership is stepping on the gas pedal, Young said. He even took shots at previous Republican Congresses for fiscal irresponsibility, complete with massive budgets that weren't balanced. "We cannot return to the errant ways of the past. We cannot trade irresponsible Democrat leaders for Republican leaders that we don't have complete confidence in," Young said.
Sodrel told the audience that with his past experience in the congressional seat, he's ready to hit the ground running. He said that concentration should be focused on job growth, and that can't be accomplished by adding taxes, government regulation and debt - especially to small-business owners. If the government had instructed employers not to withhold taxes and give employees a full paycheck for 30 days, "That money would have gone instantly into the economy," Sodrel said. "Stimulus money is borrowed money that needs to be paid back," he continued.
Also giving their pitches to the group of young voters Monday night were Republican U.S. Senate hopefuls Richard Behney and Don Bates Jr. They are among the candidates seeking the GOP nomination for the seat held by Sen. Evan Bayh, a Democrat.