Video & story: Stutzman running for Senate, says he’s the conservative in the race

U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman announces his candidacy for U.S. Senate from TheStatehouseFile.com on Vimeo.

By Andi TenBarge
TheStatehouseFile.com

Congressman Marlin Stutzman announces his candidacy for U.S. Senate in Roanoke, Ind. It will be his second run for Senate; he lost the GOP nomination in 2010 to Dan Coats, who has decided not to seek another term. Photo by Andi TenBarge, TheStatehouseFile.com.

Congressman Marlin Stutzman announces his candidacy for U.S. Senate in Roanoke, Ind. It will be his second run for Senate; he lost the GOP nomination in 2010 to Dan Coats, who has decided not to seek another term. Photo by Andi TenBarge, TheStatehouseFile.com.

ROANOKE, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman threw his hat into the ring Saturday for the U.S. Senate seat to replace retiring Republican Dan Coats.

Stutzman made his announcement in the heart of Roanoke – a small town 16 miles south of Fort Wayne – surrounded by about 100 supporters. During his speech, the Republican sought to reinforce his strong conservative credentials.

“I think people are looking for proven leadership and a conservative that’s already stood up and said he will stick to his values and that’s what I’ve done,” he said.

Stutzman joins former Coats aid Eric Holcomb, who also served as Indiana Republican Party chairman, in the battle for the GOP nomination in the Senate race. U.S. Rep. Todd Young, R-9th District, is also considering a run.

Stutzman said he’s the true conservative in the race.

“Actions speak louder than words, folks,” he said. “The letter after your name on the ballot doesn’t matter if your voting record doesn’t match up to it.”

Albert Stutzman, Marlin Stutzman’s father, watches his son announce his candidacy for the  U.S. Senate. Marlin Stutzman currently represents the 3rd congressional district in the U.S. House of Represenatives. Photo By Andi TenBarge, TheStatehouseFile.com

Albert Stutzman, Marlin Stutzman’s father, watches his son announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Marlin Stutzman currently represents the 3rd congressional district in the U.S. House of Represenatives. Photo By Andi TenBarge, TheStatehouseFile.com

Stutzman previously served as both a state representative and state senator. He now represents Indiana’s 3rd congressional district, which he won in a special election after then U.S. Rep. Mark Souder’s resigned the seat in June 2010.

“We’ve fixed problems here at home and we can fix problems in our nation’s capitol,” Stutzman said.

Democrats accused Stutzman of voting against social service programs that would have helped Hoosiers.

“Indiana needs more commonsense leadership in the U.S. Senate,” said Indiana Democratic Chairman John Zody. “And as the Democratic field takes shape, Hoosier Democrats will be talking about what they will do for Hoosier families – not to them.”

U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman greets constituents in Roanoke, Ind. after his announcement that he would run for Senate. Photo By Andi TenBarge, TheStatehouseFile.com.

U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman greets constituents in Roanoke, Ind. after his announcement that he would run for Senate. Photo By Andi TenBarge, TheStatehouseFile.com.

Stutzman previously ran for the Senate seat in 2010 for the Senate to replace retiring incumbent Sen. Evan Bayh, but lost the GOP nomination to Coats. Stutzman said he had strong support in that race from Central Indiana but needs to gain in the southwest and northwest regions of the state.

“A statewide run is very hard,” Stutzman said. “This is not an easy venture at all. Our strategy is to be all over the state again and do what we have to do again.”

Andi TenBarge is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news site powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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