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    Marlin Stutzman Declares for Senate District 13 Caucus to Replace Senator Meeks

    marlin08pic.jpgToday State Representative Marlin Stutzman became the first Republican to declare for the Senate District 12 caucus to replace Senator Bob Meeks on the ballot for the fall General Election.  Sources tell me that State Representative Matt Bell, former State Rep. and current lobbyist Brad Fox, former Lagrange County Sheriff Greg Dheane, and Lagrange County Attorney Kurt Bachman are likely to join Stutzman in the race.  Press release below.

    Press Release

     

    Today, State Representative Marlin Stutzman, officially announced his candidacy to run for the Indiana State Senate seat in District 13, the seat left vacant by retiring Senator Bob Meeks.  Rep. Stutzman resides in Howe, IN, with his wife Christy and their 2 sons, Payton and Preston.  He has served as a State Representative for District 52, since 2002, and has represented LaGrange, Noble and parts of Dekalb counties.  Marlin has been co-owner of Stutzman Farms with his father Albert, since 1992, farming 4,000 acres in the Michiana area.  He also works as a Special Assistant to U.S. Congressman Mark Souder in LaGrange and Noble Counties.

    Due to health issues, Sen. Meeks has announced his retirement, after serving for 51 years in public service.  “Senator Meeks is a wonderful example of faithful service to our community,” said Stutzman concerning the unexpected announcement.  “It has been a privilege to serve with him at the State House.  He has served with honor and has been a strong leader for all of us in District 13.  His knowledge, influence and expertise will be sorely missed.”

    In his three terms in office, Rep. Stutzman, has also proven to be a strong voice for Lagrange, Noble and Dekalb Counties.  During his tenure, Rep. Stutzman has gained respect on both sides of the aisle for his common sense approach and diplomatic style.  He served as Chairman of the Public Policy Committee in 2005, and served on the Roads and Transportation Committee for 3 years.  Stutzman is currently serving on the Public Policy Committee, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, and Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee.  As a current member of House Republican Leadership, serving as Assistant  Whip, he has helped to shape the policies and directions of the House Republicans.

      Stutzman played a large role in bringing more accountability to state government operations by co-authoring a bill to establish the “Hoosier Grace Commission” which passed in 2003.  The commission has helped to greatly eliminate wasteful government spending and has brought fraud and/or scandals to public awareness over the past 5 years.  Some of the money saved by this Commission, was put into repaying debts owed by the government to schools and local units of government.

    Education has been a high priority for Rep. Stutzman.  “One of the reasons I ran for office was to ensure a better future for our children; and education is a key to that future.”  Stutzman authored a bill that requires more money to go directly to the classroom, was instrumental in paying back the $600 million that was owed by State Government to schools, and increased funding for students 6 years in a row.  Stutzman said, “Our classrooms need computers, books, and tools to equip our students for a quality education in this new global economy.” 
     

    Rep. Stutzman has worked tirelessly to help bring jobs and economic development to Northeast Indiana, and has had a 90% or above voting approval record with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce since 2002.  In 2008, Stutzman won the “Small Business Champion” award from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce for his support of small business issues in the state.  As a board member of the LaGrange Farm Bureau, Stutzman has also been an ally and an advocate for agriculture during his time in office, by voting for bills that encourage the production of alternative fuels in Indiana and by establishing the new Indiana Department of Agriculture.

    In his own words, Stutzman describes himself as a “reasonable, common sense, conservative, who stands strong for family values.”  He co-authored the Traditional Marriage Amendment bill, and has been a strong voice for Pro-Life issues.

    In the 2008 session of the Indiana General Assembly, Rep. Stutzman helped to pass sweeping Property Tax Reform, by voting for the largest property tax cut in state history.  “Our property tax system is riddled with problems,” said Stutzman.  “The plan I supported and helped to pass in this past session, offers Hoosier tax payers immediate relief and the promise of permanent reform.  It’s been a long time in coming, but I was honored to be a part of starting the process toward solving the problems.”

      Stutzman is a member of NFIB, the Howe Community Association, ARC of LaGrange, NRA, IN Farm Bureau, and Community Baptist Church.  He also assists the Howe Little League where his son Payton is involved. 

    In order to fill the Republican ballot, a caucus will be held to determine who will run on the Republican ticket, in the fall election.  The caucus will be held within 30 days of Sen. Meeks’ resignation.

                Rep. Stutzman is available for listening and speaking engagements and can be reached by phone at 260.562.3303, or by fax at 260.562.3903 or by email: marlin@marlinstutzman.com

    This post was tagged under: Elections, General Assembly, Legislature

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