Stutzman wins U.S. House seat - FW Daily News: Latest

Stutzman wins U.S. House seat

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Posted: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 12:00 am

FORT WAYNE — Each race

resulting in a Republican win motivated the crowd to get louder at the

Allen County Republican watch party Tuesday night, but Marlin Stutzman’s

victory captivated them to stand and cheer.

Stutzman, 34, a

farmer and small business owner from Howe, won by a wide margin to

become the newest member of the U.S. House of Representatives for

Indiana’s 3rd congressional district. Stutzman captured 63 percent of

the votes across the district, to 33...

FORT WAYNE — Each race

resulting in a Republican win motivated the crowd to get louder at the

Allen County Republican watch party Tuesday night, but Marlin Stutzman’s

victory captivated them to stand and cheer.

Stutzman, 34, a

farmer and small business owner from Howe, won by a wide margin to

become the newest member of the U.S. House of Representatives for

Indiana’s 3rd congressional district. Stutzman captured 63 percent of

the votes across the district, to 33 percent for Democrat Tom Hayhurst

and 4 percent for Libertarian Scott Wise.

“It’s humbling,” Stutzman said. “People elected me to represent their values in Washington. It’s a great honor.”

Stutzman’s victory marks the first time someone from LaGrange County has been elected to the U.S. House in a century.

“People

have strong conservative principals in LaGrange County,” he said. “I

think it’s those same principals that resonate across the nation. People

are looking forward to those principals to get back to.”

As the

winner of the special election, Stutzman said he’s flying to Washington

next week and is scheduled to be sworn into office Nov. 16 to fill

former Rep. Mark Souder’s vacant seat. Stutzman will be sworn in again

in Jan. 3, 2011, and maintain the seat for two years. Souder resigned in

May after admitting an extramarital affair with a staff member.

Allen

County Republican Chairman Steve Shine addressed the crowd Tuesday

night after the Associated Press projected Stutzman’s victory at 8 p.m.

“This is one hell of a night, I’ll tell you that,” Shine said to roaring applause.

Stutzman was expected to win the contest and become part of a Republican uprising across the nation.

“We’re

going to stop Washington from changing America and get back to the

conservative principals,” he said in his victory speech.

Stutzman

began the year competing for the GOP nomination to the U.S. Senate. He

produced a strong second-place showing behind former U.S. Sen. Dan Coats

in the May 4 Republican primary. Stutzman captured 29 percent of the

vote in the five-man contest, gaining statewide respect.

Two weeks

later, Souder’s affair forced him to resign. Stutzman rerouted his goal

to compete for a congressional seat. He was an early favorite for the

GOP nomination to replace Souder and announced his candidacy days

following the resignation.

At a Republican caucus June 12 in

Whitley County, it took only two ballots for Stutzman to defeat 14 other

candidates vying for the nomination to Congress.

After Souder’s

resignation, the Hayhurst campaign had more than a month to capitalize

on the GOP uncertainty. But a strong Republican base in northeast

Indiana, combined with a GOP tide, gave Stutzman the advantage in

Tuesday’s vote.

“It feels really good,” said Ariel Kaufman,

sporting her Stutzman campaign shirt. “We went door-to-door for him for a

long time. We got to talk to a lot of people - Democrat and Republican -

about him, and I think we changed a few minds.”

Many people at

the watch party said it felt like they were viewing history and that

this midterm election gives a sign that the country wants to go back to

conservative principals. Stutzman said he’s honored to be a part of such

a special night.

“Two years ago (Republicans) were very down and

very glum, but this year people were very determined to take this

country back,” he said.

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