House District 15 is a diverse area, encompassing suburban and rural areas including portions of Schererville, Dyer, St. John and Lowell in Lake County, all of Benton County, most of Newton County and portions of White County, including Monticello and Chalmers.
The district faces many of the same challenges affecting other parts of the Hoosier state, said Republican incumbent Donald J. Lehe, of Brookston, and Libertarian candidate Steve Helsel, of Fowler, two of the three candidates running for District 15 state representative.
Democratic candidate Timothy E. Downs, of Monticello, could not be reached for comment.
Attracting businesses and creating jobs are essential to the district, Lehe said.
"One of our major issues is improving the job climate," he said. "When you attract businesses, you attract jobs. Indiana is such a manufacturing-intensive state."
To bring in those businesses, there needs to be "a friendly tax climate," Lehe said. "We don't want companies to leave our state because the taxes are too high."
As part of that economic climate, Lehe said property taxes should continue to be capped for businesses and homeowners.
"The voters have an opportunity to make the property caps part of the Indiana Constitution this election," he said.
Helsel said there is widespread poverty in District 15, which he said goes hand in hand with a "large and oppressive government. We need limited government and a better financial situation."
The candidate said a free market economy with low taxes and deregulation would improve the financial picture.
"I'd like to see government back off, not taxing and regulating business," Helsel said. "The costs associated with big government always transfers to the general public."