C&P EDITORIAL: Bucshon gains our support in 8th District race
Retired Newburgh surgeon Larry Bucshon has come a long way in the past four years. First, in a big Republican year in 2010, he easily topped Trent VanHaaften, a Democratic state representative, and then two years ago he defeated Dave Crooks, another former Indiana lawmakers and the owner of radio stations in two states.
But now, in November, he will face a lesser known Democrat, Tom Spangler, a successful Jasper businessman making his first bid for office. Also in the race is Libertarian Party nominee Andy Horning. So now we find Bucshon no longer the unknown in Southern Indiana politics. He has developed a reputation as a practical conservative. He generally follows conservative ideas, but has shown a willingness to reach out and work with Democrats.
Bucshon convinced us of his value to the region during his first term when the newcomer to Washington took a leadership role on transportation issues. He helped defeat a measure introduced by two Democrats to penalize states that lease highways. Of course, this calls attention to Indiana's Major Moves highway initiative.
His successful opposition to this measure established Bucshon as a strong voice for highway projects such as Interstate 69.
In another such move during his first term, Bucshon introduced an amendment to prevent highway officials in communities such as Bloomington from blocking highway projects.
New congressmen and women rarely have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership, but on the highway initiatives, Bucshon had such an opportunity and he took advantage of it, to the benefit of I-69 motorists in the region.
Now, during his second term, Bucshon has spoken out in support of the Southwestern Indiana economy, which depends on coal for jobs. Indeed, he has taken on the Obama administration. He and others refer to the president waging "a war on coal." He has complained that the war on coal also represents a war on middle class families, who need the jobs coal can create.
Though outside the state, the Keystone XL pipeline proposal, which President Obama has refused to push forward on, has the support of Bucshon. That is to his credit.
Bucshon has merited the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, earning the business group's endorsement.
The organization said Bucshon has been a champion of free enterprise initiatives in Congress.
This newspaper endorsed Bucshon two years ago, and we see no reason to change. He has grown in the job and seems to understand the issues important to the 8th Congressional District.
Again, we offer him our endorsement.
This article was originally published on the Evansville Courier and Press website on 10/19/2014 and can be accessed here.