The race in Indiana’s ninth Congressional district, a possible bellwether for Democrats as a whole, came to an end much earlier than anticipated on Tuesday night. Baron Hill was one of three Indiana Democrats who struggled to hold onto politically marginal house districts this year.
Hill lost the race to first-time politician Todd Young, adding he was surprised by the outcome since a number of polls showed him leading the race in the days leading up to the election. “You win some and you lose some in politics and I’ve done both, but it has been a good ride and I believe strongly that I have represented the people of Southern Indiana the best way that I could possibly represent them,” said Hill.
Hill has served in Congress the last 10 of 12 years. Many of his supporters say that Hill is a veteran of close races and for some it may bring back memories of the 2004 election he marginally lost to Republican Mike Sodrel.
Hill says though he lost this race, he strongly feels the Democratic Party saved America from turmoil by stimulating the economy with programs like Cash for Clunkers, the automotive industry and the housing credit. Hill says now it’s important to move forward.
“Two years ago when I won the election in 2008 we were handed over a terrible economy, one that was on the verge of an economic collapse, and the Democratic Party has saved this country,” said Hill.
Young says he doesn’t want to foster power struggles on Capitol Hill, but believes government functions best both parties can find equal footing.
“Our system of government is designed to ensure that we have deliberation before action.” Young adds, “The system isn’t always efficient so there will probably be a whole lot of back and forth on several issues, and I hope we can come together and settle on a bipartisan solution to many of them.”
But, some Hill supporters such as Nicole Yates, a Hoosiers for Hill campaign volunteer who has worked with the Hill campaign since 2002, say the only reason Young was voted into office is because of voter disagreement with the White House. “In my opinion this is a retaliation of President Obama, but there are great things ahead and this country will see that what they have just elected is not what they are looking for,” said Yates.
Hill says he’ll focus conversations with Young on Medicare and Social Security during the transition from his staff to that of the freshman lawmaker.