Donnelly greets packed room at Hammond field office

2012-11-01T16:36:00Z 2013-10-21T01:10:10Z Donnelly greets packed room at Hammond field officeChelsea Schneider Kirk chelsea.schneider@nwi.com, (219) 933-3241 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | A packed room of well-wishers greeted U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly on Thursday during his final stops in Northwest Indiana before Tuesday's election where he faces Richard Mourdock in the U.S. Senate race.

Donnelly, a Granger Democrat, stopped by his field office where he rallied supporters after campaign stops in Gary, Michigan City, LaPorte and South Bend.

“This election is going to be won statewide in Lake County, Indiana, that's where we are going to win this race,” Donnelly said.

The crowd at the field office included Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., who is chairman of the Lake County Democratic Central Committee, North Township Trustee Frank Mrvan and several Lake County officeholders and candidates

“Coming from South Bend, this is like home to us, and this is like coming to see lifetime friends because you are,” Donnelly said. “We've spent time with each other in the parking lots of Notre Dame and in the high schools here in the region and at different events."

"This is about making sure that our country...when our young people...when it's their turn... that we hand to them a country that's bigger, better and stronger than what our parents gave to us. That's our obligation.”

Donnelly said the region's proximity to Chicago means it's perfectly positioned to be one of the country's logistics centers.

“One of the key things we need to do is pass a long-term transportation bill, which will provide certainty and enhance our logistics even more around here,” Donnelly said.

To spur job growth, Donnelly said research and development grants need to be made permanent for small businesses.

"People are excited, and they are excited because they want a government that is focused on middle class families and making sure we create more jobs and that we go to Washington to get things done. These folks are not about partisan fights. They are about making the lives of Hoosiers better," Donnelly said.

Donnelly is expected to make stops in Whiting and Valparaiso today.

In the remaining days leading up to Tuesday's election, McDermott said the party is focusing on early voting.

"There are certain people that are going to show up on Election Day like they have for the last 40 to 50 years, and they are going to vote," McDermott said. "We don't worry about them so much that we worry about inconsistent voters. That's who we are focusing on."

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