Candidates from right to left: Top, Don Bates, Dan Bolling and Bradley T. Bookout; middle, Jim Crone, William G. Frazier, Travis Hankins and Susan Hall Heitzman; and bottom, George T. Holland, Luke Messer, Joe Sizemore and Joseph Van Wye. (Submitted photos)
Candidates from right to left: Top, Don Bates, Dan Bolling and Bradley T. Bookout; middle, Jim Crone, William G. Frazier, Travis Hankins and Susan Hall Heitzman; and bottom, George T. Holland, Luke Messer, Joe Sizemore and Joseph Van Wye. (Submitted photos)
When Mike Pence decided to give up the Indiana 6th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives that he has held for seven terms to run for governor, eight fellow Republicans and five Democrats came forward to replace him. Two Republicans have dropped out, leaving six seeking the nomination in the party primary May 8. The winners of the two parties' primaries will face each other in the General Election in November.

The Democratic Party candidates are Dan Bolling, Bradley T. Bookout, Jim Crone, Susan Hall Heitzman and George T. Holland. The Republican Party candidates are Don Bates Jr., Bill Frazier, Travis Hankins, Luke Messer, Joe Sizemore and Joseph S. Van Wye Sr.

Republicans John Hatter and Allen K. Smith II dropped out of the race after having filed as candidates.

Since the last congressional election two years ago, Pence's 6th District changed with redistricting. Eight of the counties that had been in the 9th District for decades - including Jefferson County - became part of the 6th District, which stretches from Madison to Muncie and includes 19 counties. It is a district of contrasts - rural and urban, wealthy and poor, employed and jobless.

Two of the 6th District candidates - Democrat Crone and Republican Van Wye - are from Jefferson County.

Terms in the U.S. House of Representatives are for two years. The job pays $174,000 a year.

The Madison Courier sent a questionnaire to the candidates. Their answers and individual profiles are below.


What are your top three domestic policy issues for the next Congress, in order of importance?

Bolling: Strengthen the middle class. A strong economy requires a strong middle class. In Congress, I'll focus on tax, housing and education policies to prosper American families. When the middle class thrives, the whole economy does, including the wealthiest. Henry Ford proved this, and "created the middle class" on Jan. 5, 1914.

Jobs and the economy, and education. When interest rates are low, as they are now, it's irresponsible not to fund needed infrastructure projects. That's what any corporate CEO would do. Thousands of highly-skilled manufacturing jobs are unfilled today for lack of qualified applicants. To attract good jobs to Indiana, we must invest more in education.

Wasteful spending. There's widespread anger over wasteful spending - it's everywhere - entitlements, welfare cheats, Medicare fraud, crop supports (when crop prices are already high), corporate loopholes, etc. Very few can play "holier-than-thou." Let's cool the name-calling, admit we're all responsible, and address this like adults. Demonizing one another must stop.

Bookout: My first bills I anticipate working on with co-authors are the National Strategic Industries Act to help our manufacturers; the Interstate Business Attractors Signage and Banners Act for our small businesses and community events; the NEMBLE Act, which is the National Emergency Mobilization for Building, Livelihoods, Energy and the Economy Act, to speed up industrial and infrastructure projects.

Crone: Jobs, Social Security, and national debt. Seek to re-industrialize via tax incentives and other possible measures, preserve and strengthen Social Security by elimination of the ceiling to paying into it, and tax one-half of 1 percent on the stock transactions to pay off our national debt.

Heitzman: I desire to share the salary, creating better representation and working with politically savvy citizens having experience in taxes, defense, education, employment etc. The five pillars described in the book "That Used to be Us" must be addressed before we can move on to anything else. They are education, infrastructure, immigration, research and development and regulation.

Holland: The national debt is the most important issue because of the "debt bubble," the next and last bubble. Since 1980, the national debt has grown from $980 billion to $16 trillion and growing.

Second, the loss of jobs. Part of The New World Order is the continuing "globalization" of American jobs; more job losses, lower pay and decreasing standard of living. Clinton's NAFTA cost America 670,000 jobs. Obama's KORUS FTA another 169,000. America must get out of these trade agreements and WTO (World Trade Organization) and return to a "tariff" based economy.

Third, saving Social Security and Medicare are paramount to America's seniors. Social Security lifts over 300,000 Indiana seniors above the poverty line.

Obama and Congress continue to loot Social Security. I will expose their deceit and lies about the "crises" in Social Security and Medicare. Get ready to rumble!

What are your top three foreign policy issues for the next Congress, in order of importance?

Bolling: Out-sourcing jobs. U.S. manufacturing jobs have moved overseas for 30 years. Now out-sourcing is taking jobs of lawyers, radiologists, CPAs. I will work to form a broad coalition of Americans from diverse professions to smartly tackle how we stop hollowing out the best jobs from our economy.

Afghanistan. I agree with the latest CNAS Report that calls for transitioning American troops this year from leading the counterinsurgency role to instead conducting a "security force assistance mission," which will require the Afghans to take the primary role in the securing their country.

Iran. The immediate past chief of Israel's intelligence agency, Meir Dagan, recently stated: "An attack on Iran before you are exploring all other approaches is not the right way how to do it." I agree with Dagan, who went on to say that attacking Iran, now, is a "stupid idea."

Bookout: The number one foreign policy issue for our country is building up the American economy. This includes getting our fiscal and monetary house in order and moving ever more dynamically forward. The second most important foreign policy issue is a more effective strategy of managing our affairs and working with the rest of the world in the oncoming era of the massive, modern, emerging trade nations and the economic rise of the millions of extremely low paid manufacturing workers, in places such as China, India and numerous other nations, including nations to our south. The third most important foreign policy issue is dealing with the rise of terrorism and tyrannical movements we and the rest of the world have been seeing so much of and striving to cope with, especially in the Middle East region, including Iran and stretching outward, as for example, in Afghanistan.

Crone: Address the problems of Iran and North Korea in terms of their immediate nuclear ambitions; work with China and Russia to promote peaceful ties; and work to create a community of countries to work against terrorism.

Heitzman: America needs to create a Department of Adventure for the warrior class to protect the rest of us - and seek adventure. This restructuring of defense will send the world a new message. With changes in the space industry, with the oceans unexplored, with disasters hitting the planet, we need the cadre of trained youth willing to be the explorers. This will leave the Department of War to focus on what it does best: Create weaponry that will destroy life.

Holland: First, no war with Iran. The dismantling of the American Empire; thereby reducing the probability for a nuclear war. Getting out of the Middle East, NATO, SEATO and all defense treaties. Reign-in Obama's abuses. Second, focus on the Middle East, replacing Secretary of State Clinton. I believe the problem is Israel, not Iran. Obama and Clinton are too pro-Israeli. Israel has 200 to 400 nuclear warheads. Stop the $5 billion yearly aid to Israel. Enforce the Arab plan for "a nuclear free" Middle East. Third, rescinding all "free trade" agreements; America's jobs, prosperity, standard of living and even our sovereignty are being destroyed. The Clintons' NAFTA and Obama's Hillary's KORUS FTA could care less about working and middle-class Americans.

What is your position on the federal government's role in the abortion issue?

Bolling: Abortion repulses me. But I am not a woman. And my personal religious views should not be imposed by the federal government on my neighbor who disagrees with me. I worked in biotech. Sperm and eggs both have "life." "Life" clearly begins before fertilization. The proper question is "When does a new person begin?" That is a religious question. The federal government has no place favoring my religious views over yours. I'm for religious freedom. Period.

Bookout: The bond of motherhood is powerful and often instant. I want to protect it and nurture it, not terminate it in any instance. I oppose spending public money for terminating it except where there is grave threat to the mother's health, and even then I will press for private entities to carry that burden. I oppose criminalization of pregnancy termination.

Crone: We do not want to promote it but we do need to preserve it by having each woman decide, given her conditions, what is right for her. We need to support sex education in schools and provision for birth control so that we will have fewer abortions as more women (and men) use birth control when they have sex.

Heitzman: The answer is leave it alone. We as citizens, particularly women who value life, need to work harder and harder so there will be no need for abortions. But who thinks they can play God and make this decision for another woman? Thank goodness tragic pregnancies can now be safely terminated and the pain of loss endured without the mother endangering her life; her soul will hurt enough.

Holland: No one is in favor of abortion. If a woman is determined to end an unwanted pregnancy, she will do so even if she has to self-induce the abortion with whatever means possible. Emergency rooms and funeral homes are all too familiar with the horror stories of "botched" and/or "back alley" abortions. Abortions must be legal in order to ensure that all women, especially the poor, have access to safe, clean abortions.

What is your position on the federal government's role in health care?

Bolling: It's time to spend proportionally less attention on who pays for health care, and focus on reducing the excessive cost of our system. We pay far more per capita than any other country. To drive costs down, focus on primary care, to avoid expensive specialists; and implement price transparency. Health care is the only part of our economy where prices are not posted. Competition requires price transparency to drive prices down.

Bookout: This legislation is a work in progress. It was designed to be implemented and developed in that way. Some things will be modified, some taken away, and some added. One of the aspects of the health care problem I am most concerned with is cost containment through advances in efficiency that lower the costs but do not lower the quality of care or turn to restriction of choices and deprivation of affordable access.

Crone: Crucial. Without this health care for the elderly, the poor, veterans, and those who cannot afford health care or have pre-existing conditions where people are not accepted into health care, the American people would be poorer and much more vulnerable.

Heitzman: Coming on to 20 percent of our GDP, Americans are paying $2 trillion for health care, dwarfing what we pay for defense times 4. We are a culture of illness. We enable and we encourage and we have made many in the insurance and pharmaceutical industries very wealthy. The book "The End of Illness" by Dr. David Agus offers new vision. The federal government can help here, but when insurance writes legislation, we end up with Part D, a blessing and a curse.

Holland: The U.S. is the only industrialized country without national health care. U.S. health care is the most expensive in the world. Yet, in quality, ranks 34th. Other industrialized nations use and support national health care because it is more efficient; saving lives, providing better health care at lower costs than privatized (for-profit) health care. Take out the profit motive. Medicare is national health care.

What is your position on the federal government's role in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and veterans benefits?

Bolling: The fate of Obamacare proves the need for bipartisan cooperation on these issues, to ensure a durable fix. The options: Apply the FICA tax to all income; reduce benefits for wealthiest retirees, gradually increase the retirement age, while allowing hardship exemptions. On Medicare and veterans health care, see my answer on healthcare. It's essential Congress members take no more "my way or the highway" stances on these issues. We must cooperate and work together.

Bookout: I will work day and night to protect the Social Security system to be sure it can keep its promises. We can do this, but we must have a healthy and growing economy to make that happen. That means we must always have a large working population base in place as seniors retire from the work force.

I will stand behind our veteran programs faithfully every day of my public service, and thereafter as a private citizen.

Crone: Preserve and strengthen these needed services. Preserve Social Security by eliminating the ceiling at which people pay Social Security tax (currently at $106,800). Continue to support Medicare for the elderly, Medicaid for the poor, and veterans benefits for our veterans.

Heitzman: Many already know taking the cap off of Social Security will make this program solvent. The privatization (making a profit from) of something that works for the poor and old is diabolical. If we want to put a limit on who receives it, then they can get their money back with interest and not lose anything. Medicare is also a program that works and keeps costs down.

Holland: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are "safety net" programs for the common good and have to be protected from Rep. Paul Ryan's destructive assaults. Social Security is solvent, and sufficiently funded by employee and employer taxes, not government funds and will be destroyed if "privatized." This veteran will support and strengthen veteran benefits. America must get out of costly, endless wars based on lies, deceit and greed.

Take care of problems here at home.

Should the Tax Code be overhauled?

Bolling: My answer is an emphatic yes. I am currently studying one of the best new books on this topic, Bruce Bartlett's new book, "The Benefit And The Burden."

Bookout: I want to focus on what can actually be done, and not go off on dead-end policy proposals that have no chance of doing anything but further clogging and bogging down the process and delaying our focus on realistic paths forward for our economy and the improvement of the quality of all of our lives.

Crone: Probably make the tax system a little more progressive at the top for people making $250,000 or more in order to pay for the needs and services that we have. Make sure that corporations that make profit pay at least some tax.

Heitzman: Guess who knows the answer to this? The men and women who have prepared taxes for people for 20-30-40 years. They know where the disparity lies. They know who is benefiting unfairly, who is paying their share and who isn't paying at all.

Holland: Absolutely. The U.S. Tax Code needs to be revised back to the Eisenhower era of "fair" taxation. There is something terribly wrong when corporate CEOs make 500 times more than their average employee and yet pay no or very low taxes. The current Tax Code is biased toward the wealthy.

Should the defense budget be cut to reduce the national debt?

Bolling: I believe in peace through strength. There is waste in the military, as everywhere else. No doubt there can be significant savings. The U.S. military budget dwarfs any other country's. So, yes, undoubtedly we can find savings. We should also rely more on diplomacy, and never rush to war.

Bookout: Public resources are scarce and we must use them with great care. We cannot, however, do the military on the cheap.

I support the concept of regional military and economic coalitions, with the U.S. taking a complementary position of building up and empowering the processes and parties involved.

Crone: Continue to improve wages and benefits for soldiers but be more selective in wars we get in and more selective in the new technologies we use. Get other developed countries to bear some of the burden.

Heitzman: It is not the defense budget that bothers me, but the way it is allocated, and the amount that is like an iceberg that took down the Titanic. The danger is under the surface of legality - we have Secret Service operations, private military contractors and others who are profiting in ways we never see in the official budget.

Holland: Absolutely. I am a USAF-NATO veteran. America has over 750 military installations around the world. We need to get out of NATO and Korea; dismantle our bases in the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Iran is no threat to us. Politicians should remember: Non-profit peace costs less than war.

How should the national debt be reduced?

Bolling: The biggest single drivers of our debt are unnecessary medical costs. Leading health care economists declare $700 billion - one third - of our annual health care expenditures are unnecessary, even harmful. Camden, N.J., is leading the way, showing how we fix this. We must also discuss taxes, honestly. Anger over "high" taxes betrays ignorance of the fact: In 2012, taxes are at a 60-year low. Who says? Reaganite Bruce Bartlett, among other economists.

Bookout: Yes, the national debts should be reduced and reduced through economic growth and frugal, creatively cooperative, spending policies. However, comparing the national debt to personal or corporate debt is like comparing apples to dump trucks, so let's not make that mistake. There is a great deal of misunderstanding among policy makers and the public as to exactly what money is. Without an understanding of that matter, we will continue to indulge in talking past each other.

Crone: Five things: For every buying and selling of stock on the stock exchange, have a one-half of 1 percent tax, which will bring in $500 billion a year to decrease the debt; revise inheritance tax laws so that instead of taxing after $5 million, start after $1 million or $2 million; increase taxes on those who make $250,000 or more; cut back on military spending; eliminate inefficiencies and duplications in the federal government.

Heitzman: Being in debt can keep humility in a healthy place. And now that we're here, we need to proceed with caution. We need to get back on track, paying for what we buy either when we buy it or through a "layaway plan." This is not only relative to personal debt, but what we owe China as well. When credit is too easy to come by, everyone falters.

Holland: The U.S. Tax code needs to be revised back to the Eisenhower era. By reducing defense spending. Stop the endless printing of "fiat" money by The New World Order Fed that looks after the interests of Wall Street and international banking. Abolish subsidies and tax breaks to multi-billion-dollar corporations. The Bush-Pence tax cuts have to be abolished for those incomes greater than $150,000. Increase taxes on all Wall Street transactions.

What can a congressman do to create more jobs in the 6th District?

Bolling: High-paying manufacturing jobs - tens of thousands of them, nationwide - are going unfilled for lack of qualified applicants. We must invest more in education and training so our work force can compete for these high-wage jobs of the future - now.

Bookout: What I can do is lead strongly and effectively on this issue; and that means working in creatively cooperative ways to implement the recommendations and proposals in my campaign book, "Super Plan for Jobs." I propose a large number of creatively cooperative policies, practices and projects, which I generally characterize as "constructivism."

Crone: Focus on how we can re-industrialize via tax incentives and tax disincentives and work specifically to see how we can bring more jobs to the 6th District.

Heitzman: North Vernon in Jennings County has one of the neatest new factories in the state. And it didn't take a trip to Japan to secure it. Word of mouth brought Windstream Technologies to town, and then the EDC got involved. There are many programs already in place to nurture these start ups of ingenuity.

Holland: Eleven years of Bush-Pence tax cuts have created massive deficits and debt, not jobs. Industrialized jobs are needed. They can be created by going back to a "tariff-based economy." Globalization job loss occurs because of huge corporate profits. Penalize and tax corporate greed until the jobs return.

What diversities within the 6th District will be the most challenging for you as a candidate and if you win?

Bolling: I'm married to a fabulous, dynamic, opinionated, beautiful, successful, strong African American woman. There's no diversity issue I cannot handle.

Bookout: The diversity I am most concerned with is that between the unemployed and under-employed and the prosperous wage earner in our district and across our nation. We must greatly increase the number of prosperous income earners in our district and in our nation.

Crone: Trying to bring together those on the far right and far left to see what we can do to work together to get things done.

Heitzman: That is the best part about being a candidate. When one meets the diversity in place in our communities- diversities of ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, country of origin, education: America, we are going to make it. Rest assured on the ground outside the Beltway, we've all got it figured out.

Holland: The mind-sets of the party faithful. Both parties are controlled by big money, i.e. Wall Street, big banking and special interests. Voters have to "wake up" to the New World Order of endless wars, debt, chronic unemployment, endless printing of fiat money, resulting in a collapsed dollar and economy.

What makes you different from the other candidates of your party in the 6th District race?

Bolling: Fighting against economic falsehoods of angry voters requires spine, and a firm command of facts. I have both. But, if you want to get anything done, and I do, you cannot demonize your opponent. Even if he demonizes you. Someone has to stop the name-calling. I will.

Bookout: I am running on a platform of jobs, jobs, jobs and careers, careers, careers; but more specifically, I am running on specific plans and specific policies, projects and practices to make that happen in the 6th District with or without new legislation from Congress.

Crone: Studied social problems for 35 years. Have book: "How Can We Solve Our Social Problems." Worked in factories, children's home, in public education as a high school teacher, in local and county government, and now as a college professor; so, have many experiences to draw on to help citizens of the 6th District.

Heitzman: I am a woman, a survivor, a lover, a mother, a diplomat, someone with no reputation to lose and no money to lose and I have no time for fear.

Holland: My multi-candidacies for Congress. My life experiences: working class, NATO military service, veterans activities and concerns, education and family. On the issues, I am progressive and populist.


What are your top three domestic policy issues for the next Congress, in order of importance?

Bates: Repeal Obamacare; balance the budget; revive our economy by cutting the corporate tax rate to zero and by removing unnecessary regulations that stifle economic growth and job creation.

Frazier: Total repeal of Obamacare; cut federal spending, regulation; simple and transparent tax reform code.

Hankins: I would like to see my tax plan, the Freedom Tax, passed into law. The Freedom Tax would abolish the income and payroll tax and IRS. All direct taxes on individuals would be replaced with indirect, voluntary taxes, like the Founders intended. It would restore freedom to the Tax Code. Government should have no right to tax what we earn, but only tax us when we spend. I would like to see my budget passed. It eliminates the deficit in the first full fiscal year and protects jobs. Finally, I would like to be a part of the movement that finally ends abortion in America.

Messer: My top three priorities would be job creation, balancing the budget and repealing Obamacare.

Job Creation: These are tough economic times. In Congress, I will fight to face these challenges with conservative principles - free markets, affordable energy, limited government and individual responsibility. I will stand up to Barack Obama and fight to reverse his big-government policies that are hurting America.

Balancing the Budget: Today, the federal government is five times as big as it was 30 years ago, and the federal national debt has ballooned - growing from $1.2 trillion in 1983 to almost $16 trillion today. The overspending must stop or our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be saddled with enormous debts.

Repealing Obamacare: The negative impact of the program is clear - it costs too much, it is hampering job providers, it has resulted in severe cuts to Medicare, and it will lead to a reduction in the quality of health care in America in the long run. It cannot be allowed to continue.

Sizemore: Public education, Social Security and trying to stabilize the economy if possible.

Van Wye: Stop spending so much money and start paying down the debt; pass a budget, which it has not done in more than 1,000 days; lower corporate taxes, and give business a reason to come back and create jobs so people can get back to work. The United States has the highest corporate rate.

What are your top three foreign policy issues for the next Congress, in order of importance?

Bates: Complete the mission in Afghanistan and continue to cultivate our relationship with Iraq; rebuild our relationship with allies, especially the State of Israel; secure our borders.

Frazier: Rebuild and maintain a strong national defense; support our allies in the free world; and dramatic financial cutback to the United Nations and build a new coalition with friendly allies.

Hankins: When I hear "foreign policy" I think of defense. The biggest issues facing our national defense are the border, ICBM missiles and cyber warfare. Our southern border has become a major threat to America's national security. While important discussions continue concerning economic and cultural factors in the immigration debate, for me this issue all comes down to national security and keeping the American people safe. For every day that goes by that we do not secure our borders, potential drug smugglers and terrorists could be infiltrating our local communities and putting our children in harm's way. We need missile defense as it is inexcusable for our government to leave us vulnerable to missile attack after all these years. The same goes with cyber security. We must get ahead of the curve when it comes to protecting our infrastructure from hackers.

Messer: Maintaining a strong national defense: We live in a dangerous world. In Congress, I will fight to keep America safe and preserve the peace by making sure our military is strong. I will also be a champion for our men and women in uniform as they fight to protect us from America's enemies.

Support for Israel: Our nation's leaders must be clear and unwavering in our support for Israel. History has shown that America has no better ally. We must stand with Israel and condemn the threats and attacks that have been consistently perpetrated against her people.

Ending the war on Afghanistan: After a decade in Afghanistan, I share the feelings of most Americans that it is time to come home. That said, I think we must have an exit strategy that creates a legitimate possibility of peace and stability in the region and honors those Americans who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Sizemore: Trying to figure out who really needs help and who's sucking the blood out of us. We aren't the world's police department. Middle East, North Korea, China, Taiwan, Iran - this bunch can and could cause a lot of trouble and further cripple our economy.

Van Wye: We need to keep troops in Afghanistan, to keep the Taliban from taking back control until they are able to police themselves. We need to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons. If they have them, they will use them. They would like nothing more than to take out Israel. We need to keep a good relationship with Israel and keep them safe.

What is your position on the federal government's role in the abortion issue?

Bates: Our Declaration of Independence includes among its list of the cornerstone liberties granted by God the right to life. I believe that government should protect all human life, from its very early stages to its very latter stages. I will support legislation that denies any and all taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood and abortions.

Frazier: The Federal government should lend no financial support to abortion or abortion providers nor grant monies to private and state organizations for abortion, embryonic stem cell research or treatment or other abortion-related enterprises.

Hankins: One of government's very few legit roles is to protect life. Abortion must be outlawed in America. From the moment of conception, every life has guaranteed, protected rights.

Messer: I am pro-life, and my campaign has been endorsed by Indiana Right to Life. I believe the right to life is one of our most basic rights. In Congress, I will support the Hyde Amendment, which broadly bars the use of federal funds for abortions. I would also fight to end federal funding for abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood and work to protect a health care worker's right to follow their conscience in their workplace.

Sizemore: I would vote yes for a human life amendment as long as it didn't create a whole other mess of problems. I can't even think about abortion; it turns my stomach. If confronted with a bill, I would go to the people of these rural counties and ask for their guidance on this issue; I don't think I should make this on my own. It affects too many people in one way or another.

Van Wye: I think that the federal government should have no position on abortion. It should be left up to the states. I personally believe it is wrong and should be outlawed.

What is your position on the federal government's role in health care?

Bates: I will vote to repeal Obamacare. Free-market solutions are the answers to our health care challenges. Allow companies to cross state lines for the purposes of marketing health insurance. Give Medicaid back to the states and reform Medicare.

Frazier: The Federal government should remove itself from health care provisions and leave it up to the private sector free-market system with restricted oversight. Oversight committee members should be elected by states.

Hankins: We must repeal Obamacare . There should be no federal role in health care. We have too much insurance in this country. Middlemen always drive up the costs, and in health care, we have two middlemen: the incompetent federal government who seek power and control and the insurance industry who seek higher profits. We need catastrophic coverage for hospital stays and disease, but insurance for routine medical care and much of our medicine is a part of the problem.

Messer: Obamacare must be repealed. It costs too much, tramples individual freedom and will eventually lead to a reduction in the quality of health care in America. Nonetheless, skyrocketing costs leave America with a health care system that is broken and in need of repair. The government's role is to protect health care freedoms while creating market conditions that help families obtain and maintain affordable health care coverage.

Sizemore: Republican goal is to overturn health care. I really don't think it's constitutional, but I have Republican voters right here that would like to save parts of the health care policy, so in order to represent the people I would have to look at all sides and go from there. The real thing would be to get health care costs in check where the majority of the people could afford it.

Van Wye: I hope the Supreme Court does its job and deems Obamacare as unconstitutional. Health care needs to be overhauled. The government should not be deciding our health care; our doctor should be.

What is your position on the federal government's role in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and veterans benefits?

Bates: Social Security and Medicare should be reformed for future solvency and sustainability. Medicaid should be given back to the states. Veteran benefits are bogged down by red tape and long wait periods. We need to reform and streamline the process time to ensure our veterans get the care we have promised, and they deserve.

Frazier: Protect and preserve Social Security for seniors 55 and over. Reform Social Security for those 54 and under giving them the option to opt out. Block-grant Medicare and Medicaid funds to the states and provide limited oversight.

Hankins: For those who are disabled or those who are not millionaires ages 58 and up, we need to protect the promises we made to you and pay your benefits. For everyone else, and the next generation, these programs need to be transitioned back to the state level for administration as each state sees fit. We cannot overcome a $100 trillion unfunded liability with these three programs. For the disabled and those 58 and up, nothing will change.

Messer: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and veterans benefits are critical programs that must be maintained and protected. First and foremost, we must make sure that any reforms do not take funding away from seniors who earned the benefits and currently rely on the programs. Then, reforms are needed for those younger than 55 to make sure that these programs are sustainable for future generations.

Sizemore: Vets are Number 1 to me. If it wasn't for vets we wouldn't be enjoying the freedom we have. Medicare - keep it as is, look for ways to cut costs; Medicaid needs some attention; there is a lot of abuse in this program.

Van Wye: It is true these programs are going broke, and will run out of money if something is not done. First, I would never support taking anyone on Social Security off, unless they are cheating the system in some way. In 1940 when the first payouts were supposed to start, the average life span for women was six years younger and for men it was five years younger. At some time the age will have to be raised. I would say for people under the age of 40, but leave it alone for people over 40.

I have a great respect for the elderly, Medicare also needs to be reformed. There are a number of ways we can control cost, such as raising the age of eligibility, negotiating the prices of prescription drugs, income-related Medicare premiums for our wealthier seniors, and Medigap restrictions. All of these have been proposed. I am open to use any or all of these to get the cost down.

Should the Tax Code be overhauled?

Bates: Yes, the Tax Code should be overhauled. I favor a Fair Tax but would support the Flat Tax.

Frazier: No. The 10 million-word Tax Code needs to be completely scrapped. We need a new simple and transparent Flat/Fair tax code. We need to eliminate the cooperate tax and eliminate burdensome regulations. Eliminate the ATM.

Hankins: Step 1 is to abolish the IRS and the individual income tax and to replace it with a corporate flat tax and excise taxes. Step 2 is to eliminate the payroll tax and replace it with a small, contained and limited national sales tax. Step 2 also includes creating an inflation tax to be placed on bankers whenever they use fractional reserve banking.

Messer: Yes. To kick-start our economy, we need a tax system that encourages business to invest, hire and create jobs. Our current Tax Code requires more than 71,000 pages to explain and is far too complicated. I support a major tax overhaul, like the fair tax or a flat tax.

Sizemore: Yes. I think we need to have a more straight tax, if you will. Right now I know people that don't pay hardly any income tax but get a big fat tax return - now, how do you do that? The simple way would be to fill out your withholding statement accurately; that way they take the correct tax during the year, then unless a special circumstance arose you wouldn't even need to pay any more or wouldn't get any back. Self- employed would have to do it the old-fashioned way. Just a idea, it might work, I don't know.

Van Wye: Approximately 50 percent of the people in the United States do not pay any federal income tax. I think we need to go to either a flat tax or a fair tax so that everyone shares in paying taxes. Taxing the rich more is not going to change anything. We have a spending problem. I liked Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan; maybe not those numbers, but the concept is good.

Should the defense budget be cut to reduce the national debt?

Bates: No. We should look at other areas first. We have a constitutional duty to defend our country.

Frazier: No. Reasonable defense budget cuts can be made with military leaders' coordination, but national defense is the federal government's Number 1 responsibility, and what we need to protect America and our National issues needs to be funded. Aid free world democracies to the best of our ability.

Hankins: There is waste there. I believe Defense should only be cut back to 2008 levels and only waste and nation-building funding should be removed.

Messer: Defense should be among the last places America looks to cut the budget. I believe in peace through strength. In Congress, I will be a champion for our men and women in uniform. I will also fight to keep America safe by making sure our military is strong.

Sizemore: Yes. We won't need all the things that are going right now when we leave the Middle East. I wouldn't cut it a whole lot, but I'm sure there is some fat to trim.

Van Wye: No. We have to be able to defend ourselves. There is a group of people in the Middle East who would like nothing more than to take us out. We cannot allow this to happen. We were attacked on our own soil, and 3,000 people died. This cannot happen again.

How should the national debt be reduced?

Bates: I will vote for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Federal spending is out of control. Our national deficit is $1.4 trillion, and our national debt currently stands at $15 trillion and is growing every day. Unless we get our spending under control, our ability to borrow money will be severely hampered, our national credit rating will go down and inflationary pressures will damage an already struggling U.S. dollar. 

Frazier: We need a balanced budget like the Paul Ryan Plan to Prosperity or the Mack Penny proposal. We need a balanced budget amendment and institute a baseline budget of no greater than 7.5 percent and cap spending at the traditional level of 18 percent.

Hankins: Cut spending. First, cut every department back to 2008 levels, then cut overall spending to 2004 levels.

Messer: We need a commonsense approach to budget issues. We cannot borrow our way out of a recession or spend our way out of debt. Instead, we can reduce our debt by taking bold steps like stopping the bailouts; return our federal budget to pre-Obama 2008 levels; pass a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution; adopt term limits; enact a presidential line-item budget veto; and end the earmarking process.

Sizemore: Quit borrowing and spending would be a start; hey, it's tough all over. Everyone will have to learn to live with a little less. Basically just quit wasting our money.

Van Wye: We have a spending problem. I support the "Connie Mack penny plan," which cuts 1 penny across the board for every dollar the government spends. This is done for six years and the GDP needs to be capped at 18 percent by 2018. If a department cannot afford the cut, then we take two pennies from one that can. This will reduce overall spending by $7.5 trillion over 10 years. No increase in taxes.

What can a congressman do to create more jobs in the 6th District?

Bates: Creating jobs in the 6th District is job Number 1 for any member of Congress. I would advocate for cutting the corporate income tax and the death tax to spur investment by small business, family farmers, manufacturing and technology.

Frazier: Politicians can only create a job-friendly environment; they cannot create private-sector jobs. Reduce the cost of business and over-regulations. Businesses need stability and predictability in the Tax Code and need to be free of excessive EPA regulations and other federal regulations that are not limited in their scope and power.

Hankins: Pass my tax plan, the Freedom Tax. The Freedom Tax would abolish IRS, income and payroll tax. Direct taxes on individuals would be replaced with indirect, voluntary taxes, like the Founders intended. Government should have no right to tax what we earn, but only tax us when we spend.

Messer: We must keep taxes low and get government out of the way so local business owners can create jobs. In Congress, I will fight to balance the budget, lower energy prices, reduce job-killing bureaucratic red tape, and cut taxes for Indiana's working families, small businesses and larger employers.

Sizemore: If I'm elected I might be able to convince companies to come to the 6th District. I kind of think if anyone could, it would have been Mr. Pence. He seems like a stand-up kind of guy, and I figure if he can't then I don't know if I could, but I would give it the best shot. I'm kind of good with people and strait-up. People like that so maybe I could bring some jobs here.

Van Wye: Support any bill that reduces the corporate taxes. The United States has a corporate tax of 35 percent if we reduce or eliminate it, then corporations can free up some money, then they can expand, hire more people or do what they need to do to do business.

Also support any bill that will reduce regulations that keep business from doing business.

What diversities within the 6th District will be the most challenging for you as a candidate and if you win?

Bates: The new 6th takes in 19 counties, from Muncie to Madison. Our next congressman should be an advocate for job creation in the district. I will fight to revive our economy.

Frazier: The 6th District has a large but shrinking farming and manufacturing base. We need to also diversify with education and technology. We need an environment friendly to manufacturing and encourage job training programs to adjust to a growing world technology for better paying jobs.

Hankins: None. I treat everything and everyone the same.

Messer: The 6th District covers 19 counties stretching from Madison to Muncie. Yet, the communities in our district share more similarities than differences. In every community, job creation is priority number one. Plus, most people share an appreciation of traditional family values and a healthy conservative skepticism of big government.

Sizemore: No response

Van Wye: We have a lot of foreign immigrants in the 6th District, and I can only speak English. In college I studied ancient Greek and Hebrew. We have a number of Spanish-speaking citizens and a number of Japanese-speaking citizens. I will need help in this area. I like living in such a diverse district.

What makes you different from the other candidates of your party in the 6th District race?

Bates: My private-sector experience uniquely qualifies me to serve as your congressman. Having lived and worked in the 6th District my entire life, no one will feel the heartbeat of its residents, and work to represent those feelings in Washington, as much as I will.

Frazier: I have the most private-sector experience in years and diversity. With experience in business and farming I know how to grow a company, meet a payroll and cut spending when necessary. I don't need this job, but this job needs to be done.

Hankins: I do not compare myself with my opponents because I am running against the 200 Republicans in Washington who have failed their oath and sold out to big government and the special interests.

Messer: I'm the only candidate with a proven track record of conservative leadership. As a state representative, I earned support from Indiana Right to Life and the NRA, and helped Gov. Mitch Daniels craft a balanced budget - without a tax increase.

Sizemore: I'm not rich and I'm not taking any donations for my campaign. I'm in it to try to make a difference. I don't want to sound radical because I'm not, but we have to get these people that have had everything handed to them out of our government. We need commonsense government, not educated government.

Van Wye: My Number 1 thing is I want to be a servant leader. Just like Jesus was a servant leader. I am first and foremost a Christian, then I am a patriot, then I am a concretive and last I am a Republican.

Dan Bolling

Address, including county: P.O. Box 67, Centerville; Wayne County

Occupation: Retired biotech

Education: Indiana University Kelley School of Business, bachelor of science degree

Previous political experience, including offices held and unsuccessful races: None

Age/date of birth:  61; Feb. 6, 1951

Family: Wife, Harriet; stepdaughter, Averi

Memberships: Democratic Party of Wayne County

How voters can contact: (765) 312-2136

Bradley T. Bookout

Address including county: Lives in Yorktown, Delaware County

Occupation: Certified master builder; fourth-generation small-business owner; economic development consultant

Education: Bachelor of Science from Ball State University

Previous political experience, including offices held and unsuccessful races:

Elected twice to the Delaware County Council at-large, including two terms as president of the council. Also served as president of the Parent-Teachers Association at Burris in Muncie.

Age/date of birth: 39; Jan. 11, 1973

Family: Wife, Lisa, of 18 years and three boys

How voters can contact: 

P.O. Box 134, Yorktown, IN 47396; phone (765) 808-1484;;;

Jim Crone

Address: 2165 S. Logans Point Drive, Hanover, Jefferson County

Occupation: Professor of sociology, Hanover College

Education: Doctor of philosophy in sociology, master of arts in sociology, master of science in history, and bachelor of science in history.

Previous political experience, including offices held and unsuccessful races: Member of Hanover Town Council, president of Hanover Town Council, member of County Council, lost in race for County Council, currently chairman of Jefferson County Democratic Party

Age/date of birth: 67; May 2, 1944

Family: Son, Alex, who is 18 and a senior in high school.

Memberships: American Association of University Professors; Trinity United Methodist Church

How voters can contact: phone: (812) 866-5486

Susan Hall Heitzman

Address, including county: 345 N. County Road 25-E North Vernon, Jennings County

Occupation: Retired educator (elementary, secondary, adult); juvenile probation officer; author of Your Story, Ahn's Story and Our Stories, A Journal for Pre-teen Girls; former owner with husband of Tripp Inn B-and-B; owner with husband of small veneer-quality hardwood tree farm; mother; parental caregiver. Also part-time: postal service, church secretary, day care employee, substitute teacher.

Education: Hanover College, bachelor of arts, 1965; Indiana University Bloomington, 1993. Indiana secondary certification in U.S. history, world civilizations, psychology sociology, and math

Previous political experience, including offices held and unsuccessful races: Ran for school board decades ago. Volunteered in Baron Hill's Seymour campaign office; volunteer at Jennings County Democratic headquarters

Age/date of birth: 67; May 16, 1944.

Family: Husband, Stephen R. Heitzman; son, Keith S. Heitzman; daughter, Jill J. Heitzman Pressler; four grandchildren; 91-year-old aunt, Jo Brauer, lives with us. 

Memberships: United Methodist Church, InterFaith Forum in Columbus, Reconciling Ministries Network

How voters can contact: Email; text at (812) 767-4658 

George T. Holland

Address, including county: 520 W. Foster Heights Road, Rushville, Rush County.

Occupation: Retired. Was in pharmaceutical sales for nearly 34 years, 1961-1995 for American Home Products, which was known as Wyeth Laboratories.

Education: Attended Evansville College from fall of 1955 through spring semester of 1958. Attended Indiana University School of Medicine from September 1958 to February 1959. Graduated from Butler University, 1961, with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry/zoology; was on dean's list.

Previous political experience, including offices held and unsuccessful races: Republican Congressional primary candidate in 1986, Democratic Congressional nominee in 1988. Democratic Congressional primary candidate in 1990. Was candidate in Republican and Democratic primaries several times. Was Republican primary candidate in 2006. Was Libertarian Party nominee in 2008. Was Democratic Congressional primary candidate in 2010, but withdrew for health reasons.

Age/date of birth: 77; June 13, 1934

Family: Wife, Janice; married for 54+ years. Two sons and six grandchildren.

Memberships: Vietnam Veterans Against War

How voters can contact: or George Holland For Congress, P.O. Box 751, Rushville, IN 46173


Don Bates

Address, including county: 1252 E. Gray Lane, Winchester, Randolph County

Occupation: Financial adviser

Education: High school, Bethel Holiness Christian School, Columbus; college, The Bible Missionary Institute, Rock Island, Ill.

Previous political experience, including offices held and unsuccessful races: Ran for U.S. Senate in 2010 in the Republican primary.

Age/date of birth: 42; Oct. 9, 1969

Family: Wife, Amy Bates; two sons, Trae and Blake

Memberships: Richmond Lions Club, ayne County Chamber of Commerce, Pilgrim Nazarene Church

How voters can contact:

William G. Frazier

Address, including county: 8001 N Williamson Road, Muncie, Delaware County

Occupation: Mobile home parks owner and farmer. Was a jumpmaster and paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne. Commercial jet pilot.

Education: Attended Purdue. Graduated from Ball State University

Previous political experience, including offices held and unsuccessful races: Indiana state senator for one four-year term. Ran for U.S. Congress from Indiana in 1976, 1978, 1980, and won primary in 1994.

Family: Wife, Joan, and four children, two deceased, and seven grandchildren.

Memberships: Disabled American Veterans, Sons of the American Revolution, local County 4-H, National Rifle Association, Travelers Protection Association and Grace Baptist Church. Established the William G. & Joan E. Frazier Foundation.

How voters can contact:, (765) 289-6327,

Travis Hankins

Address, including county: 1824 Central Ave, Columbus, Bartholomew County

Occupation: Real estate investor

Education: Graduate of Indiana University and Kanakuk Bible institute

Previous political experience, including offices held and unsuccessful races: Ran for Congress in 2010 in 9th Congressional District

Age/date of birth: 30; Dec. 9, 1981

Family: Twin brother, Aaron

Memberships: Bible Church of Columbus

How voters can contact:

Luke Messer

Address, including county: 345 W. Broadway St., Shelbyville, Shelby County

Occupation: President and CEO of Hoosiers for Economic Growth Network, a privately funded not-for-profit advocacy group focused on education reform. Authored "Hoosier Heart," a children's book about Indiana.

Education: Greensburg Community High School, 1987; bachelor of arts degree, summa cum laude, from Wabash College, 1991; juris doctorate, Vanderbilt University, 1994.

Previous political experience, including offices held and unsuccessful races: State representative, District 57, 2003-2006; candidate for Congress in 2000 and 2010

Age/date of birth: 43; Feb. 27, 1969

Family: Wife, Jennifer; two daughters, Emma and Ava; and a son, Hudson.

Memberships: Co-founder of a not-for-profit organization called Child Share Indiana that advocates for Indiana foster children and their foster families, seeking to involve the faith community in foster care services. Board member of the Indiana Foster Care and Adoption Association and as an elder at First Presbyterian Church in Shelbyville.

How voters can contact: Email or visit

Joe Sizemore

Address, including county: 8019 Pipe Creek Road, Metamora, Franklin County

Occupation: Factory worker and County Council District 1 member

Education: Graduated from high school in Clay County, Ky., in 1982; Ivy Tech business classes; various aircraft spec classes; ISO cerfified and lean certified.

Previous political experience, including offices held and unsuccessful races: Elected to Franklin County Council in 2010

Age/date of birth: 47; July 8, 1964

Family: Wife of 22 years, Christy; three teenagers, Rachel, Rebecca and Joey.

Memberships: Stayin' Alive of Franklin County, a substance abuse education and prevention public-private partnership; Franklin County girls softball assistant coach; active in the community; Bapist church.

How voters can contact: website; (765) 647-3023; Facebook

Joseph Van Wye

Address, including county: 1911 Allen St. Madison, Jefferson County

Occupation: Part-time at LifeTime Resources

Education: Associate degree in electronics, 3.5 years of Bible College, from Cincinnati Bible College, Louisville Bible College and Summit Theological Seminary

Previous political experience, including offices held and unsuccessful races: None

Age/date of birth: 48; March 2, 1964

Family: Wife, Bonita Van Wye; two grown children, Joseph Scott Van Wye Jr. and Meghian Nichole Van Wye

Memberships: Kent Christian Church, Ripley County Amateur Radio Club (call sign AJ9W)