SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Todd Young announced Sunday he is running to succeed retiring Indiana U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, saying he will run on a campaign of responsible conservative leadership.
“That means enough of the political pageantry and overheated rhetoric that we’ve heard during the Obama years and more solution-oriented constructive leadership where people are prepared to make the hard decisions and offer concrete solutions to pressing challenges,” he said Sunday in a telephone interview.
Young, a three-term congressman whose 9th Congressional district in southeastern Indiana runs north to the suburbs south of Indianapolis, announced his candidacy through a video released online Sunday. He is the third GOP candidate to announce, joining U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, who represents northeast Indiana, and former Indiana Republican Party Chairman Eric Holcomb.
The sole Democrat running so far is former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill. Young defeated by Hill for the 9th district seat in 2010, Young’s first run for office.
Young said he was encouraged by people to run for the Senate, pointing to the fact that he raised more than $1 million in campaign funds in the second quarter as he considered a possible run. He said most of the funds were raised in Indiana although outside his district.
“That sent a message to me that people felt strong about my need to enter the race,” he said.
Young said he’s not worried about running against another sitting congressman, saying he embraces challenges.
“When I was a Marine officer I would tell my Marines to prefer the hard, don’t take the easy course,” he said.
Young has worked to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act and points to a bill that would increase the number of hours an employee has to work before an employer must offer health insurance under the act as one of the achievements he’s proudest of. The bill has passed the House but hasn’t been considered by the Senate.
He was criticized by some conservatives in 2013 for voting to end a 16-day partial government shutdown. He said he understands some people’s frustrations over that.
“There comes a time, as I learned at the Naval Academy and the Marine Corps, where leaders have to stand up and say, ‘We’ve taken the initiative, we’ve taken the fight as far as we can at this point. We’re going to wake up tomorrow and continue to fight on a different front,” he said.
He said he thinks that’s what Indiana residents are looking for in a senator.