By Scott Tibbs, September 7, 2011
Indiana's 6th Congressional district is an open seat, with the incumbent likely to be Indiana's next governor. Because it is an open seat, there are a number of people running in the Republican primary.
Travis Hankins ran for Congress in the 9th District last year and did surprisingly well, finishing second and actually getting more votes than former Congressman Mike Sodrel, who was looking to face Baron Hill for a fifth time.
I didn't support Hankins (or the winner, Todd Young) in the primary, as I thought Sodrel deserved another shot at winning back the seat he held in 2005-2006. I thought all three candidates were qualified, though, and would have been happy with any of the three as the nominee. I enthusiastically voted for Young in November.
Now, Hankins is running in the newly-redrawn 6th District, and I am happily endorsing him this time.
Hankins was seen by some (including me, quite honestly) as a "me too" candidate in 2010, so I was very surprised at his strong showing in the primary. Finishing ahead of Sodrel was certainly an accomplishment. In the new 6th, I think his chances are strong. Hankins finished with over 60% of the vote in Ohio, Ripley, Bartholomew, Jennings and Dearborn counties, all of which are in the newly redrawn 6th district.
One of the things I find most encouraging about Hankins' candidacy is that his anti-abortion views are prominently featured on the front page of his campaign website. I have met him several times and I know his commitment to opposing abortion (and actively fighting against it legislatively) is genuine. Hankins is committed to not only voting his principles on legislation that comes before the House, but actively advancing legislation to preserve liberty.
Don Bates is also running in the 6th. If Hankins were not in the race, Bates (a solid fiscal, social and foreign policy conservative) would be the obvious choice for Republican primary voters.