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.
We asked what will be the most difficult part of running against Walorski.
“Having never run for office before, I don’t have a lot of experience. But certainly, she is an incumbent. But again, what we think about is people in this district are hungry for change, they’re hungry for someone who will simply get something done – get done what needs to get done to represent folks in the second district," Hall said.
Local Democratic leaders were focused on the congressional race, while local Republican leaders were focused on Indiana's Senate primary.
But everyone is paying close attention to voter turnout.
“The turnout’s been amazing. By 10 a.m., we had surpassed the numbers from 2014. We just recently surpassed the numbers from 2010, I believe. I have to back in there and confirm that. So the turnout has been huge. Democrats are outvoting Republicans two to one, which is a margin that we’re not used to seeing as well. So there’s definitely a lot of excitement in the air today," said Jason Critchlow, the St. Joseph County Democrats Chair.
Critchlow says his team is tackling this primary the same way they always do.
He’s hoping for a different outcome compared to 2016.
At the Saint Joseph County Republican headquarters, the race for Senate is trumping all.
Chair Lynn Fitzpatrick says party members she has spoken with are committed to all the races, even if the turnout doesn’t reflect it.
“You know, voter turnout is moderate this year – I think I would call it. And a lot of people who always vote in the general election – a lot of people don’t vote in the primaries, primarily because they’re not as engaged as maybe some of us," Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick says enthusiasm on the Republican side might be greater than you’d think and she feels confident Congresswoman Walorski will win re-election in November.