KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — Voters in residing in U.S. Congressional 2nd District will have choices to make for the U.S. Representative nominations on May 8.
Republicans will have the choice of Rep. Jackie Walorski, incumbent, or Mark Summe. The Democrats will be choosing between Douglas Carpenter, Pat Hackett, Mel Hall, Yatish Joshi, Roland Leech and John Petroff.
The 2nd District is comprised of 28 precincts in Kosciusko County: Clay, Etna, Franklin, Harrison, Jefferson, Lake, Plain 6, Prairie, Scott, Seward, Turkey Creek, and Van Buren
Jackie Walorski is a lifelong Hoosier. Born and raised in South Bend, she has dedicated her career to helping Hoosier families. She represents Indiana’s 2nd District in the 115th Congress. First elected to Congress in 2012, she currently serves on the House Ways and Means Committee. She previously served on House Armed Services Committee, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, the House Budget Committee (113th Congress), and the House Agriculture Committee (114th Congress), where she chaired the nutrition subcommittee. Jackie and husband, Dean, a Mishawaka school teacher, live in Jimtown.
Mark Summe, South Bend, obtained a bachelor’s degree from Franciscan University, Steubenville, in 2013. He is a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame, and is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of chemical and biomolecular engineering.
Douglas Carpenter, South Bend, is a graduate of Penn High School and the American University of the Caribbean. He was born in South Bend and has lived in St. Joseph County most of his life.
Pat Hackett, South Bend, is a native of Detroit. She has spent four decades serving the people of northern Indiana as teacher, attorney and civic leader. As a current adjunct assistant professor in the Notre Dame Law School, former adjunct faculty at St. Mary’s College, and former teacher at Marian High School, she has contributed to the life of the community through her teaching. She earned a BA in government and theology, an MA in theology, and a JD from the University of Notre Dame.
Mel Hall, South Bend, was born and raised on the family farm in Grant County. Hall is a lifelong Hoosier. After graduating from Taylor University, he went to seminary and became a Methodist minister. He went to graduate school at Notre Dame. After completing his degree, he joined the South Bend-based health care survey company Press Ganey. Within a few years, he was asked to run the company. Under his leadership, Press Ganey added nearly 800 jobs and served nearly 3,000 hospitals nationwide.
Roland E. Leech, resides in Plymouth. He graduated from Plymouth High School in 1967 and joined the U.S. Army in 1967. He was honorably discharged in 1970, having served in Korea DMZ and Vietnam. After his military service, he had various jobs. In 1977, he went to the Junior College of San Francisco, Calif., and graduated in 1980. He’s lived in Plymouth most of his 69-year life. A volunteer for the Marshall County Humane Society. A widower, his wife died in 2005. He has two step-sons.
Yatish J. Joshi was born in Bombay, India. He’s lived in Indiana for more than four years; his family came to the U.S. in 1976. He has a bachelor’s degree with a majory in chemistry and minor in physics from the University of Bombay, India. He studied rubber and plastic technology in London where he graduated in 1976. After various jobs and being laid off from each one, he started is own business, GTA Containers Inc., in 1988.
John Petroff, LaPorte, is an eighth generation Hoosier, a graduate of Marion High School in Grant County, and a graduate of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is currently a public servant working as a school bus driver.
Response To Questions
Each of the candidates were asked to respond to questions. The following are the responses received
What do you believe to be the three greatest issues in this year’s election and why?
Leech: Remove marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act. Marijuana doesn’t meet the requirement for Schedule I designation … Legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use … o a person over 21 years of age. … The states will decide if they want to sell marijuana … receive sales tax that will go to states, public schools and-or infrastructure problems.
When hunting in Indiana, you are only allowed three rounds. So, I would like to ban AK-15, ban ghost guns, ban magazines over 10 rounds, ban mental health people from owning a gun …
Support Paris Environment Agreement, clean oceans, clean air and clean rivers. Support DACA, and support sanctuary cities …
Hall: Working class wages. Folks are ready for good-paying jobs and higher wages. Local manufacturers and the trades are having a hard time filling jobs and finding workers. … expanding access to the skilled trades and apprentice programs at an earlier age … We can and we should better prepare our students to follow their passion, whether that be higher education, the trades or something else.
Improving health care. We all know the Affordable Care Act is not perfect … we should work to make health care more affordable and reliable. We should increase competition in the insurance marketplace and reduce inefficiencies in the ACA. We should strengthen care for our veterans, whose wait times are longer and whose mental health care is lacking. …
A public servant must show up. All Hoosiers know the importance of a hard day’s work and of finding common sense solutions. … When I was at Press Ganey, I stood before our associates each month, year after year, to share our progress and hear their concerns. …. I will take that same approach to Congress. I will show up. I will listen. I will be a public servant.
Joshi: I am running for the 2nd District Congressional seat because it’s high time someone with some perspective takes the voices of northern Indiana to Washington. A people-centered perspective is not always easy to come by … I have come to my perspective through witnessing the sacrifices and generosity of others, through a journey across the world and into America, and through raising my family in northern Indiana. … I strive to better my community. …
District 2 residents have expressed concerns around limited federal funding and attacks on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, health care, education and economic inequality. I will work to strengthen Social Security and preserve the system … I will ensure the security of our retirees is not privatized… We must provide all seniors with full Medicare insurance coverage to reduce out-of-pocket costs, especially the prescription drug …. Senior housing is often too expensive or too scarce. Thus, I will work to increase the funding for and availability of affordable, appropriate housing …
I believe the Affordable Care Act was one of the best laws passed in our nation’s history … We must also make public college free or more affordable for all students and bring apprenticeships and trades programs back to our youth …
Enough with partisan politics; it’s time to protect our seniors, students, workers and communities with strong progressive policies … Now is the time for the people, who make this country great to be heard, represented and served…