Republican former Rep. Mike Sodrel has been engaged in what seems like an eternal fight with incumbent Democrat Baron Hill for control of Indiana’s 9th congressional district. This nearly decade-long struggle of trading the seat back and forth ended tonight when Sodrel was defeated in the GOP primary by Todd Young. Young had 34%, Travis Hankins had 32%, and Sodrel come in third with 30%.
Sodrel lost to Hill in 2002, but defeated Hill in their first rematch in 2004. Two years later, Hill managed to win back his seat as part of the 2006 Democratic wave. Sodrel unsuccessfully challenged Hill again in the 2008 general election. With the mood of the country now shifting back toward Republicans, Sodrel thought he would have a better chance this year, and so launched what would have been his fourth rematch against Hill. A Firedoglake/SurveyUSA poll from earlier this year actually showed Sodrel in the lead against Hill. Unfortunately for Sodrel, by losing the Republican primary, he has been denied his chance to face off with Hill for a fifth time and the possibility of winning back his seat.
With it being an anti-incumbent year, it is probably to the advantage of Republicans that Todd Young will be Hill’s Republican challenger. In this political climate he won’t be carrying the Washington insider baggage that a former congressman like Sodrel would have.