Colwell: In search of answers about Indiana’s Senate race

President Trump has left town, and TV ads by Republican Senate candidates attacking each other have disappeared. Questions remain.

Q. Did Trump fly here for a rally because he wanted to ridicule Joe Donnelly as “Sleepin’ Joe” and “swamp person” in the Democratic senator’s home area?

A. Right. Indiana’s Senate race is targeted by Republicans as crucial to hopes of retaining and even expanding their control of the Senate. They know Donnelly is vulnerable, a Democrat in a state that Trump won by a ton.

Q. Why the hurry for Trump to bring his wrath against Donnelly so quickly after the primary election?

A. Quick timing was due to those vicious TV attacks by the three Republicans fighting to become the challenger to Donnelly this fall. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence came to seek GOP unity after that primary fight, with Mike Braun, the winner, and Congressmen Todd Rokita and Luke Messer savaging each other. Braun was there to pledge foursquare Senate support for Trump.

Q. Trump denounced Donnelly for voting against the Republican tax plan. If Donnelly had become the lone Democrat to vote for the plan, would Trump have refrained from blasting him?

A. No.

Q. So, Senate votes by Donnelly, even when he often sides with Trump on nominees and priorities, don’t mean anything in terms of Trump’s determination to defeat him?

A. Right. This is politics involving congressional control, not how often Donnelly seems to Trump to be naughty or nice. The moderate stances by Donnelly mean something to Hoosier voters who admire a less partisan approach. That’s why Trump wants to shatter that image and demonize Donnelly as a tool of “liberal handlers.”

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Jack Colwell: Hall will make 2nd CD a battleground

SOUTH BEND – Indiana’s 2nd District will be a battleground this fall, certain to be targeted by Democrats nationally in the quest to capture enough Republican-held congressional seats to gain control of the House.

Democratic congressional nominee Mel Hall, who won impressively in the primary election Tuesday, now challenges Republican Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, who seeks a fourth term. She won by a ton in 2016 in a district solidly for Donald Trump. She will be difficult to upset.

But Hall, a former corporate CEO with a moderate Democratic approach similar to that of Sen. Joe Donnelly, who once represented the district in the House, is an ideal challenger for a Republican-flavored area. He demonstrated fundraising ability and campaign skill in warding off two determined opponents in the primary and winning in all 10 counties of the district.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is certain now to focus top targeting on the 2nd in its “Red to Blue” effort to flip enough Republican seats to Democratic challengers to gain control of the House. Targeting is significant. The DCCC will provide organizational and fundraising support, signaling to Democrats nationally that Hall is a candidate to back. Donnelly, when he first ran for the House, didn’t get a cent from the DCCC and was clobbered. Two years later, he was targeted for all-out DCCC support and handily upset the Republican incumbent, Chris Chocola. DCCC support certainly didn’t do it all, but it helped a lot in a sprawling district where getting an effective TV message districtwide is vital.

Hall, former CEO of Press Ganey, South Bend-based collector of patient satisfaction data for hospitals nationally, relied on effective TV ads to reach the entire district, even buying time on cable TV from Chicago and Indianapolis to reach its edges. He faced determined challenges in the primary from Pat Hackett, South Bend attorney who appealed to the progressive wing of the party and contended that Hall wasn’t a true-blue Democrat, and Yatish Joshi, a wealthy South Bend businessman who poured over half-a-million dollars of his own money into his campaign.

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INTERVIEW: Mel Hall reacts to primary win

Another closely watched race: Indiana’s 2nd District Congressional Democratic primary.

Mel Hall won with 47 percent of the votes.

Hall is the former CEO of Press Ganey. He says he will work to boost wages and job growth, as well as expand access to health care.

Hall will face Republican incumbent Jackie Walorski this fall.

Hall was in our studio Wednesday morning. Hear his reaction to the win and his plans for November, in the video above.

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Hall discusses winning nomination for Indiana’s 2nd congressional district

(WNDU) – The matchup is set for Indiana’s 2nd congressional district.

Mel Hall took the Democratic nomination in a closer race, with 47 percent of the votes, defeating Pat Hackett and Yatish Joshi.On Tuesday, Rep. Jackie Walorski won the Republican nomination easily with 79 percent of the votes.

Hall joined 16 Morning News to talk about his victory in the primary election, saying he thinks the district can do better.

“I’m a guy who is used to getting something done, to working across the aisle,” explained Hall. “I’m a relentless pragmatist. So I think the district is ready for someone who focuses on that kind of leadership.”

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Mel Hall hopes to unseat Jackie Walorski in general election

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Six democrats were on the ballot in the hopes of taking on republican candidate Jackie Walorski in November but only one could win.

As of Wednesday morning, 93 percent of the precincts reported their counts for the Indiana 2nd Congressional District race.

Mel Hall was leading with 47 percent of the vote, followed by Pat Hackett, then Yatish Joshi, Douglas Carpenter, John Petroff, and Ronal Leech.

The projected winner claimed his victory Tuesday night and will face Walorski in the general election. He joined us in the ABC57 Studio to talk about what’s to come.

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Mel Hall wins right to challenge Jackie Walorski in Indiana’s 2nd District

SOUTH BEND — In the district’s first hotly contested three-way Democratic Primary Election race in recent memory, Mel Hall edged Pat Hackett and Yatish Joshi Tuesday at the polls, winning the right to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski in November.

With 93 percent of the vote tallied, Hall had 42 percent to Hackett’s 28 percent. Joshi had drawn 22 percent of the vote.

A bit after 9:45 p.m., nearly four hours after the polls had closed, Hall gave a victory speech to supporters in a 6th floor ballroom at Aloft, the newly renovated downtown South Bend hotel on the ground floor of the city’s tallest structure, the Liberty Tower.

“We think we will win all 10 counties,” Hall said to loud applause. “At the end of the day we will get stuff done that needs to be done. That’s who we are. … Jackie Walorski has literally been hiding from us.”

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Hall to face Walorski for Indiana’s 2nd congressional district

SOUTH BEND (WNDU) — Mel Hall will face Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski in the general election for Indiana’s 2nd congressional district.

Mel Hall

Hall came away with 47 percent of the vote. Pat Hackett received 32 percent, and Yatish Joshi finished with 12 percent.

Hall was greeted by thunderous applause as he made his way through the Aloft ballroom in downtown South Bend Tuesday evening.

During his speech, Hall said that if he’s elected in the fall, he’ll make sure he protects Social Security and Medicare, adding that anyone who gets sick should have the right to see a doctor.

Hall says he wants to be a part of a Congress that’s known for

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Mel Hall wins Democratic primary for 2nd Congressional District race

Democrat Mel Hall, a minister and CEO, will challenge incumbent Republican Representative Jackie Walorski for the 2nd Congressional District seat in the general election.

South Bend lawyer Pat Hackett trailed closely behind Hall, while Yatish Joshi, Douglas Carpenter, John H. Petroff and Ronald E. Leech trailed far behind.

Hall spoke to a room full of supporters after his win, saying Walorski and her colleagues in the US House of Representatives spent too much time talking at and about each other instead of focusing on what needs to be done for the American people.

“The choices right now are between the continued partisanship and out-of-touch policies, and the rest of us. The choice is up to us and that will be on Election Day in 182 days,” Hall said during his victory speech.

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Mel Hall wins second district, looks ahead to November

Businessman and former minister Mel Hall topped the democratic primary for Indiana’s second congressional district tonight/last night. He spent his victory speech looking forward to November.

Mel Hall is wasting no time looking back on his primary victory. Though he took the time to thank those who had worked on his campaign, he spent the most time talking about how he would be in congress.

“Our district wants someone in Washington who doesn’t work for a party, who does not work for the president or work for a special interest group they want someone in Washington who works for us, and only us in the second district.”

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