Senior staff writer
Many Southside voters will see the ripple effect of state politics when they vote in Tuesday’s primary.
Retiring U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., touched off a Republican scramble that dips into the Southside. GOP Reps. Todd Young of the 9th District and Marlin Stutzman of the 3rd District are competing for Coats’ chair.
Five Republican candidates are battling to represent the party in the general election for Young’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, including state Sen. Brent Waltz of Greenwood, Robert Hall of Bloomington, Trey Hollingsworth of Jeffersonville, Sen. Erin Houchin of Salem and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller of New Albany.
Waltz is in his seventh term and has campaigned extensively throughout the district, which stretches from Johnson County to the Ohio River.
Two City-County councilors from the Southside, former Perry Township Trustee Jack Sandlin and business owner Jefferson Shreve are sparring for the House District 32 GOP primary win. The district includes most of Perry Township and the Near Southside.
The winner will face the Democrat winner, either attorney Sean Gorman, who attended Homecroft Elementary, or Jessee Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, in November.
State Sen. Pat Miller, a longtime Southsider, is closing her distinguished career in the General Assembly. The District 32 post is being contested between two GOP candidates, City-County Councilor Aaron Freeman of Franklin Township and Zachary Talijonick. Freeman is president of the Franklin Township Republican Club.
The winner faces unopposed Democrat candidate Sara Wiley, an educator with Beech Grove Schools. The district includes Franklin Township.
Republican Rep. John Price is not running for re-election, which opens up the District 47 seat in Congress.
Republicans John Young, who lost to Price in the 2012 primary, and Matt Prine are on the GOP ballot. The district includes part of White River Township in northwestern Johnson County.
The District 91 race in the Statehouse is between Republican incumbent Robert Behning of Decatur Township and Jim Grimes in a district that includes part of western Perry Township.
The GOP primary also has two township advisory board races on the Southside: Franklin Township District 5: Bob Abbott vs. Ron Dougherty; and Perry Township District 5, Carrie Coulter vs. Timothy O’Connor.
Polls are open from 6 a.m.-6 p.m.