More than nine months ago I made a difficult decision. Despite overwhelming odds, and with only my family by my side, I announced that I was going to run for Congress in Indiana's 6th District. Over the course of the next 36 weeks, my wife and three sons accompanied me to 19 counties as we made new friends and ate more fried chicken dinners than I ever thought possible.
We participated in parades, attended charity auctions, baked potato lunches and small town festivals and we completed our journey by spending the final two weeks before the primary elections knocking on doors and introducing ourselves. We literally met thousands of friendly Hoosiers who, after hearing our story and learning of our intentions, were suddenly willing to open their hearts, homes and wallets to our cause.
In total, we distributed 552 signs throughout the district and mailed or hand-delivered more than 13,000 personal letters to people from both political parties and varying backgrounds.
Unlike the politicians you see on TV, who use our nation's richest companies to amass hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund their campaigns, we were fortunate to receive donations of nearly $15,000 from everyday people to help us continue our efforts. This is what a true Hoosier campaign is all about.
The seat I'm running for is an open seat, meaning that it's being vacated by Congressman Mike Pence so he can run for Governor. Being an open seat, there was a crowded field of 14 contenders for this position. My closest opposition in the Democrat primary raised twice as much money as we did and was able to fund TV and radio commercials and expensive billboards throughout the district. But, in the end, good old-fashion Hoosier hard work paid off.
On May 8 at approximately 10:33 p.m. I was informed that National Public Radio had officially declared me the winner of the primary.
I wish to thank all the people who worked and voted for me during this primary election. Your overwhelming support and confidence in me to continue forward is greatly appreciated.
I understand better than anyone that the deck is stacked against me in this race. Our great Hoosier State has been chopped and gerrymandered in a manner that allows one party to control nearly all congressional seats and prevents the average person from taking part in the process. Despite this, I have no doubt that Hoosiers are smart people and will not continue to allow the current political gamesmanship to ruin families and small businesses so that only the super-wealthy can continue to prosper and grow.
I believe that with continued hard work and common sense Hoosier values, we can beat the political machine that we have all lost confidence in.
Over the next five months, you will be seeing and hearing more from me. I will continue to be at those parades and summertime fairs and festivals. I will be the one with my wife and kids by my side. One place that I will not be is in the board rooms of big oil and insurance companies, taking $25,000 PAC checks from CEO's to ensure that gas prices remain high and your health insurance benefits are reduced.
All in all, please know that if elected I will work harder than anyone to ensure that the 6th congressional district will prosper and grow.
My number one goal, above all others, is to improve our Hoosier economy. To do this, I will work tirelessly on plans and projects that will not only produce jobs, but will produce careers for all Hoosier men and women who want them. In order to make this happen, I need you. Regardless of political party or background, your vote counts and I need it in order to lift us out of the political paralysis that we are experiencing. I thank you for believing in me and I thank you for your continued support as we move forward with our campaign.
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