Hall Statement on Election Results

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Following the results of Tuesday’s election, Mel Hall released the following statement tonight:

“Even though we came up short tonight, I’m proud of the campaign we ran, and the people we met along the way,” said Hall. “Many folks across the district are eager for a representative who will protect their health care, grow good-paying jobs, and clean up the partisan mess in Congress. While that will not be me in the coming term, I am encouraged by the enthusiasm and appetite for change I saw across all ten counties of this district.”

ABC57: Donnelly, Hall hold last rally before polls open November 6

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Senator Joe Donnelly and Indiana District 2 Candidate Mel Hall held a final rally in South Bend on Monday night.

The purpose of the rally was to keep the momentum going in St. Joseph County. As of November 5, 22,176 early and absentee ballots had been cast in the county.

“It’s too soon to quit,” Hall told the crowd at the Aloft Hotel in Downtown South Bend.

The audience heard from South Bend City Clerk Kareemah Fowler, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Donnelly and Hall.

“We need to make sure that people know that there’s a clear choice between someone who has and will continue to fight for healthcare,” said Hall.

Donnelly said he was honored to be a part of the 2018 election season.

“That’s why I fought so hard for our healthcare, for our jobs, and for our future,” he said.

County voters said they believe getting work done in Washington D.C. is most important this midterm election season.

“Making government work is of interest to me,” said Chad Ammerman, a St. Joseph County voter.

Read more.

AP: Indiana Democrats aim to re-elect Donnelly, flip House seats

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Democrats face stiff challenges in Tuesday’s election as they try to hold a U.S. Senate seat and cut into the Republican Party’s grip on most congressional seats.

Sen Joe Donnelly is locked in tough fight with GOP businessman Mike Braun in a race that saw two campaign appearances for Braun by President Donald Trump and one for Donnelly by former President Barack Obama in the waning days.

Indiana’s nine U.S. House seats are up for grabs, but only two GOP-controlled ones are considered in play. One is in southern Indiana, and the other is in the northwestern part of the state where Obama appeared Sunday in a get out the vote drive.

Three other statewide races — those for secretary of state, state auditor and treasurer — are on the ballot. Voters also will decide whether Indiana’s constitution should be amended for the second time in two years.

Here are some of the key races:

U.S. SENATE RACE

The neck-and-neck contest between Donnelly and Braun has bombarded Hoosier voters with weeks of advertisements touting competing claims about foreign outsourcing.

Ads targeting Braun, a multimillionaire auto-parts magnate, have focused on his company importing the products he sells from China. Those aimed at Donnelly have focused on a factory in Mexico that’s owned by a company Donnelly’s family owns.

PENCE’S BROTHER

Greg Pence, an older brother of Vice President Mike Pence, is expected to win the heavily Republican 6th District seat his famous sibling once held.

The 61-year-old owner of two antique malls faces Democrat Jeannine Lee Lake, who publishes a bimonthly Muncie newspaper.

The eastern Indiana seat is open because Republican U.S. Rep. Luke Messer ran in the GOP primary for the U.S. Senate. Greg Pence is one of Mike Pence’s three brothers.

COMPETITIVE HOUSE RACES

Political observers say Republicans will likely hold onto the seven Indiana congressional seats they control and Democrats the two others.

But the races for the 9th District, which extends from the Ohio River to the south Indianapolis suburbs, and the South Bend-area 2nd District — are deemed competitive and could possibly change party hands if a Democratic “blue wave” reaches Indiana.

Republican Rep. Trey Hollingsworth faces Bloomington attorney Liz Watson in the 9th District, while Republican Rep. Rep. Jackie Walorski faces Methodist minister-turned-health care company executive Mel Hall in the 2nd District.

LEGISLATURE

Half of the seats in the 50-member Indiana Senate and all 100 seats in the Indiana House are up for election this year.

Republican supermajorities in both chambers have left Democrats largely powerless over the past six years.

Several longtime legislators decided not to seek new terms this year. Democrats need to add four House seats to break the current 70-30 Republican supermajority, while the GOP’s 41-9 Senate margin means Democrats must pick up at least eight seats.

BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT

Voters will also decide a ballot measure that would require the General Assembly to pass balanced budgets unless supermajorities of two-thirds of the members of each chamber vote to suspend that obligation.

Indiana’s electorate last voted to amend the constitution in 2016 when it approved a provision to protect the right to hunt and fish.

Read more.

WSBT: Indiana Republican candidates make their way around Indiana to encourage voting

Indiana Republican candidates are making their way around the state getting people out to vote.

Today (Sunday), they made a stop Mishawaka.

We talked with 2nd district Congresswoman Jackie Walorski and her challenger Mel Hall today.

They are locked in a race that has seen over $5 million spent trying to win your vote.

Republicans from across the state rallied at Congresswoman Jackie Walorski’s Mishawaka headquarters in support of her bid to win a 4th term.

“When the bus rolled in and the governor and Mike Braun and all the folks came into this place, it was like an exhilarating Notre Dame running through the tunnel,” said Walorski. “They ran through a tunnel of people.”

Governor Eric Holcomb and other Republican leaders came to show their support.

“Common sense Hoosiers understand that this seat is not for sale, this is not what this is about,” said Walorski. “This is about fighting for Hoosiers. This is about doing the right thing for the sake of right and, that’s what I have been about. That’s what these people have been about.”

While Jackie Walorski was busy thanking her supporters and campaign team, right around the corner, Mel Hall was knocking on doors.

“We are out talking to folks, listening to their concerns and responding,” said Hall. “I’ve always believed that you go door to door and talk to people directly.”

Both candidates spent millions, but for the first time in all of her campaigns for congress, Walorski has less money available this time around than her competitor.

“I know what our message is, and it has definitely been resonating with voters and with constituents,” said Walorski.

“I have made it clear all along that I will fight for them,” said Hall. “They are excited to have someone running for office who walks in the rain, knocking on doors, and looking them in the eye asking for their support.

The BMV in Indiana is extending hours tomorrow and Tuesday. This will allow voters to get adequate identification to vote.

Branches will be open on Monday, Nov. 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Tuesday, Nov. 6, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Read more.

ABC57: Healthcare at the center of the 2018 midterms

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Local healthcare advocates are hoping voters will consider what’s at stake before they hit the polls next week. The latest poll from the University of Virginia and Ipsos found Hoosier voters believe healthcare, the economy and immigration are the most important issues in that order.  So members of the nonpartisan group Northern Indiana Community Coalition for Health Care (NICCHC) say they plan to continue to press that issue before and after the elections.

Watch an interview with them above.

Indiana Senate and Second Congressional District candidates faced off in their final debates before election day, spending considerable time discussing the issues of immigration and healthcare.

Below are each candidates’ summarized responses to questions regarding healthcare:

Mel Hall (D)

When asked about health insurance coverage, Mel Hall stated that the healthcare crisis is one of the biggest issues the American people face. He stated that people with preexisting conditions “live in fear” of losing their healthcare coverage.

He stated, and emphasized, that Jackie Walorski (R) voted 11 times to take healthcare away from people with preexisting conditions.

“I think we deserve better than that in our 2nd District.”

Mel Hall stated that he would work to bring prescription drug prices down, increase insurance competition, and work to streamline healthcare and remove unnecessary bureaucracy and paperwork in the healthcare industry. He stated that the so-called “Medicare for all” initiative is not feasible in the near future.

Rep. Jackie Walorski (R)

Rep. Jackie Walorski claimed that she had, in fact, voted for protections for people with preexisting conditions. She also emphasized the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act.

Rep. Walorski reaffirmed her belief that Hoosiers should have access to affordable health care, and stated she would work to repeal the individual mandate. She discussed her expansion of the children’s healthcare program, as well as community health centers.

Walorski stated she would always fight to protect Medicare for both the elderly and the youth, for when young people will eventually need it.

Read more.

WNDU: Buttigieg throws support behind U.S. Congressional candidate Mel Hall

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) – South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg Thursday noted that, with absentee voting continuing through the weekend, every day between now and Tuesday, Nov. 6, is Election Day.

On Thursday, Buttigieg endorsed congressional candidate Mel Hall in the race for Indiana’s District 2 seat.

“You have somebody who, from the farm to the church to business leadership to support for good causes, in this community, has time and time again, for quite frankly much longer than I’ve been on the scene, been a proven leader in this community,” Buttigieg said.

Hall claims that about one-third of the people living in the 2nd District have pre-existing conditions and a voice that is not now being heard in Washington.

Read more.

Truthout: With a Week to Go, Two States Explain the 2018 Midterms

After a week that saw a barrage of pipe bombs aimed at Democrats and Trump critics, a historically horrific hate-fueled massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue during a baby-naming ceremony, the racist killing of two Black people at a Kentucky supermarket by a shooter who could easily have murdered many more people had he succeeded in breaking into a Black church moments before, and the president of the United States trying to erase the 14th Amendment to the Constitution as he marches thousands of soldiers to the US-Mexican border, I believe it goes without saying that we stand on the cusp of the most significant midterm election of our lifetime.

We have seen our fair share of gross and disreputable midterm elections, to be sure. Recall, if you will, the 2002 midterms: The scent of poison smoke still hung over the hole in the sky where the Twin Towers once stood in Manhattan, and here was Karl Rove telling Republicans to “Run on the war,” which became two wars we are still fighting, in one form or another, 16 years later.

Somehow, this feels worse. There is a profound sense right now of a nation trapped in an existential crisis, a vicious confrontation over who gets to call this place home. The siren of inflicted panic blaring from the White House – white people are losing the country! – has ignited the violence of the few against the many. It is the shriek of dying paradigms we bear witness to today – white supremacy, the patriarchy, perhaps even mighty capitalism itself – and no paradigm departs without a bloodletting.

This looming election contains all that, and more. The first Tuesday of November provides the people with their first real opportunity to grade the performance of Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress. After two long years of mayhem, here stands a moment to take concrete action and deliver a report card that has the power to cost people their jobs (assuming the voting machines actually work). No more opinion polls, no more angry letters. Nightfall on Tuesday brings a reckoning of sorts, and some very bad clowns could get kicked out of the circus.

In that spirit, then, let us see where matters stand.

As of Halloween, the pollsters at FiveThirtyEight.com put the chances of Democrats taking majority control of the House at 85 percent. Those same pollsters place the chances of Republicans maintaining control of the Senate at 85 percent. The Cook Political Report is reading a similar batch of tea leaves; the Senate seems safe for the GOP, but a “Blue Wave” is coming that will probably hand majority control of the House to the Democrats.

The question then becomes, “How high the wave?” The actions of the Trump administration — in combination with a confluence of history that includes the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, and all with the climate collapsing vividly around us — have unleashed mighty forces into the political slipstream. The degree to which this translates into voter participation is anyone’s guess, but the massive early voting taking place across the country would seem to portend an election with historic turnout is in the offing.

It is impossible to accurately take the pulse of an election where all 435 House seats and a full third of the Senate are up for grabs, but there are bellweathers out there that can serve to tell us what is to come before we get there. For myself, the states of Indiana and Georgia will tell the tale in full when the deal goes down.

In Indiana, Republicans enjoy the fat end of the state’s nine House seats by a score of 7-2. The 4th and 6th District seats are currently vacant because their previous Republican occupants ran for Senate and were defeated in the primary. The odds favor GOP candidates winning those two seats (Greg Pence, brother of Mike Pence, is the Republican candidate in the 6th), but the 9th and 2nd Districts are another matter.

In the 2nd, GOP Rep. Jackie Walorski faces health care company executive and former minister Mel Hall. The district leaned Democratic until Republican gerrymandering in 2010 altered the math, so Hall’s chances are better than most. In the 9th, GOP Rep. and notorious carpetbagger Trey Hollingsworth faces Bloomington attorney Liz Watson in what has become the race to watch in the Hoosier state. Victory is a very hard dollar for Democrats to make in Indiana. We will know the “Blue Wave” is high if Walorski and/or Hollingsworth lose their gigs next week.

The other race I’m watching intently has nothing to do with control of Congress and everything to do with the fate of democracy in the United States. The governor’s race in Georgia has become ground zero for the massive manifestation of vote suppression being perpetrated nationally by the Republican Party.

Democrat Stacey Abrams is seeking to become the first Black woman governor in US history. Her opponent, Republican Brian Kemp, is the sitting Secretary of State, putting him in charge of the election he is personally running in. Kemp has been accused of removing more than 300,000 Georgia voters from the rolls because, he says, they changed residences. As investigative journalist Greg Palast has documented in his most recent Truthout report, however, those people never moved and should still be allowed to vote.

There is also the matter of the 53,000 Georgia voters – predominantly Black – who are being blocked from voting by Kemp because of tiny imperfections in the paperwork. The racist vote suppression in Georgia by Kemp and the GOP has become so egregious that former President Jimmy Carter himself felt compelled to step in.

“In order to foster voter confidence in the upcoming election,” Carter wrote to Kemp, “which will be especially important if the race ends up very close, I urge you to step aside and hand over to a neutral authority the responsibility of overseeing the governor’s election.” As of this writing, Brian Kemp remains Secretary of State in Georgia.

Two states, four districts and one governor’s mansion. Amid the screaming noise and relentless horror of this unprecedented midterm election season, it will be Indiana and Georgia that will show us where we’re at. The former will measure the substance of whatever “Blue Wave” may be rolling in, and the latter will show us just how far Republicans are willing to go to maintain the crumbling paradigms that sustain them.

One more week.

Read more.

WSBT: South Bend’s mayor is throwing his support behind Democrat Mel Hall

With just five days left before the general election, South Bend’s mayor is throwing his support behind a candidate in the 2nd District Congressional race.

The mayor says Democrat Mel Hall will help solve issues on Capitol Hill.

He called Hall a proven leader in the community who will fight for the people of South Bend and the 2nd District.

A small crowd gathered at Hall’s campaign headquarters in downtown South Bend.

Buttigieg says Hall is someone who “walks the walk”.

With experience on the farm, at church and in the business world, represents the values of this community.

He says unlike incumbent Republican Jackie Walorski, Hall spends all of his time talking and thinking about the people and is someone who is laser-focused on things like making sure pre-existing conditions are protected.

“When you have a sitting member of the U.S. Congress representing this district who has voted not less than 11 times to take away those protections. Who if she has renounced the current effort to undermine those protections I sure haven’t heard it,” said Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) South Bend.

Buttigieg and Hall both encouraged everyone to get out and vote on Tuesday.

Read more.