Yoder, Hollingsworth face off in 9th District debate

Posted at 11:28 PM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-19 23:28:49-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Candidates for Indiana's 9th Congressional District seat squared off in a debate Monday, and construction delays along I-69 were at the top of the discussion list.

Democrat Shelli Yoder told attendees she's a Hoosier who knows Indiana better than her opponent, Republican Trey Hollingsworth, a will serve the interests of the state best.

Hollingsworth says he has real business experience and has created jobs in Indiana for more than a decade.

Both agreed infrastructure is key to the state's economy.

Hollingsworth says the government owes a burden of proof to taxpayers before raising taxes. Yoder says simply addressing the problem by raising the gas tax is "short-sighted."

Both were asked about construction on I-69 between Martinsville and Bloomington, where a subcontractor recently walked off the job for not getting paid.

"There is a real cost for government that's not getting results for Hoosiers," Hollingsworth said, "that's not getting results for Washington and is not being held accountable for that. We need business owners in Washington to hold people accountable."

Yoder said as a member of Congress, she would have to not only address the safety of Hoosiers roads and bridges, "but we have to be able to move commerce up and down Indiana, especially the 9th District."

While the race has taken a nasty tone in TV ads, the debate remained friendly until the very end, when Yoder accused Hollingsworth of trying to move in and buy the seat.

Hollingsworth moved to Indiana last fall and had to get special permission to run for the seat since he had never voted in an Indiana primary. He has pumped more than $1.3 million of his own money into his campaign so far, with his father contributing several hundred thousand dollars more.

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