Democrats living in northern Porter County and northeastern LaPorte County have no shortage of Indiana Senate candidates competing for their vote at the May 3 primary election. Four Democrats now are vying to win the Senate District 4 seat held for the previous 16 years by retired state Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes.
This week, Porter County businessman Todd Connor and Michigan City School Board member Deb Chubb joined the Democratic primary contest that also includes state Sen. Rodney Pol Jr., D-Chesterton, and former Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer.
Both Connor and Chubb previously competed at the Oct. 21 caucus of the district's Democratic precinct committeemen that selected Pol to finish the one year remaining in Tallian's term.
Connor said he believes district voters deserve a chance to decide if they support his goal of changing the "Republican narrative" he claims has dropped Indiana to the bottom of nearly every quality of life ranking.
"It's hard to build a future in a Republican-led state that so often wants to go backwards: on organized labor, on the environment, on teachers, on women’s health and reproductive choice, and, sadly, on democracy itself," Connor said.
If elected, the U.S. Navy veteran and longstanding promoter of veteran business initiatives plans to focus at the Statehouse on a range of issues, including advanced manufacturing growth in Northwest Indiana, improving nursing home care, environmental cleanup, entrepreneurship, and legalizing marijuana.
"We could, with the right leadership, define our region and position ourselves for outside investment, build a clean energy corridor, attract growth businesses and raise our standard of living," he said.
Chubb, meanwhile, is touting her background as an attorney and the longtime leader of numerous community organizations as her primary qualifications for representing the district in Indianapolis.
Her legislative goals include increasing access to high-quality child care, expanding renewable energy production, recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers, reducing maternal mortality, hiking the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour and decriminalizing marijuana.
"My experience as a nonprofit executive and community servant equips me to be the strong voice and fierce advocate our community deserves in the state Senate," Chubb said.
"I am grateful for the many neighbors throughout the district who have encouraged me and who have inspired this campaign."
State campaign finance records show a single Republican, Johannes Victor Alfred Poulard, of Michiana Shores, so far has filed to run in the district.