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Indiana GOP Needs State House Control For Redistricting Trifecta

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

If you follow football, basketball or auto racing, you know all about the Hoosier State’s iconic place in sports. In politics, though, the state’s specialty seems to be staying out of the limelight. Let’s face it; the differences in style between Bob Knight and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels are stark to say the least. Yet, Indiana does seem to breed levelheaded, get-it-done politicians. Thanks to the primacy placed on the need to control redistricting, the Hoosier State now moves to the forefront of the national political picture.


Republicans currently control the Indiana Governor’s mansion and the state Senate (by a wide margin), and if they can capture a majority in the state House, the GOP can effectively reshape Hoosier State politics for the next decade. With the Democrats holding a narrow 52-48 lead in the House, the 2010 elections could be a game changer for the Indiana GOP. According to House Republican Leader Brian Bosma, “This is the year that we will predetermine state legislative and congressional leadership for the next decade through the maps.”

Although the state has done a better job than most with managing its public finances, Governor Daniels continues to remind the party faithful that new leadership is a must in order for the state to move forward on the path of fiscal responsibility. For that reason, Governor Daniels is teaming with Leader Bosma to do everything possible to push Republican candidates across the line in key districts, including the 19th House District.

The 19th District encompasses southeastern Lake County and portions of both Porter and Newton counties. The race between Republican hopeful Dan Klein and incumbent Democrat, Rep. Shelli VanDenburgh, could well be one of the three seats the GOP needs to pick up to tip control of the House. Klein has already proved to be a tough campaigner, winning his primary by a two-to-one margin.


A lifelong native of Crown Point, Klein was elected Mayor in 2004 with a convincing two-thirds of the vote. As Mayor, he made his mark using business-oriented tactics to achieve goals that dramatically improved the local government.

Klein, a licensed real estate broker and small business owner for more than 25 years, was elected the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity in Northwestern Indiana in 2008, and continues, even during the rigors of a high-profile campaign, to help the non-profit organization provide residents of the district with affordable housing.

Leader Bosma “is counting on Dan Klein to put Republicans back in the driver's seat downstate.” The 19th District has been trending Republican giving 2008 presidential nominee, John McCain, 47.69 percent of the vote.

The Democrat incumbent, VanDenburgh, was appointed in 2007 after former Democrat Rep. Bob Kuzman stepped down to become a lobbyist. In 2008 VanDenburgh held the seat only after the winner of the Republican primary dropped out of the race and was replaced on the ballot. This time around, Republicans are confident Klein is poised to win in this vital toss-up district.


If elected, Klein has promised to focus on job creation, ethics reform and tax reduction. With tax-and-spend Democrats at the helm in Washington, Indiana voters know that if the Hoosier State is to move forward, it will need to elect more candidates like Republican Dan Klein.

To learn more about Dan Klein’s bid in Indiana, visit

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