Pelath, Granquist face off in newly drawn Indiana House District 9
Indiana House District 9 has undergone a makeover of sorts due to redistricting. The longtime LaPorte County district now includes parts of eastern Porter County, including Pine, Jackson and Westchester townships.
As a result, incumbent Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, and Republican candidate Dan Granquist are spending time getting to know new voters.
“It’s been a thrill,” Pelath, the House assistant minority leader, said. “It’s an area that I’ve known and loved my entire life. And on a personal level it’s rejuvenating to get out and meet a lot of new folks. I get a fresh look at local issues.”
Pelath, who has served in the House since 1998, said the biggest concerns for voters are interconnected — jobs and the economy.
“People have big economic anxieties,” Pelath said. “If they’re not looking for job, they’re certainly worried about the status of their current job. The second thing is people worried about what future wages are going to look like and how they can build better lives for their kids, with a little bit of breathing room between paychecks.”
The state should place a priority on building vital infrastructure projects, like the proposed Illiana Expressway, Pelath said, because they have an economic multiplier effect.
“If we’re building things in Indiana, infrastructure plus jobs come along with that, and workers spend their paycheck at local businesses,” Pelath said.
Pelath said legislators should prioritize employee-friendly policies, such as supporting fair wages, making sure consumers aren’t being gouged at the gasoline pumps and getting essential job training for the next jobs in Indiana.
Granquist did not respond to multiple interview requests, but his policy positions are published on his campaign website.
Granquist, who owns a small business, supports a balanced budget and no net increases in state taxes. He is in favor of a state constitutional amendment that would define marriage between a man and a woman.
Granquist’s education positions revolve around supporting educational options for children, like private school vouchers and charter schools. He believes education should be geared toward making students career ready and rewarding quality teachers.