The Indiana House District 12 race is one of the hottest in Northwest Indiana. Redistricting is a key factor in this.
Democrat Mara Candelaria Reardon, the incumbent, faces a strong challenge from Republican Bill Fine in a district that has moved south into some Republican areas.
Fine said if he and a few other Republican House candidates in Lake County are elected, "you're now working with the majority party." That would gain the county some clout in what we have come to know as the Hoosier Holy Land.
The flip side of that coin is the question of whether Republicans should be given a supermajority in the House. Reardon said she has been more effective as a member of the minority party because the Republicans are looking for Democratic votes.
The macro-political situation in the House is intriguing, but we're focused on the individuals involved in this race.
Reardon said her biggest accomplishment was working with state Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, on Little Calumet River legislation "protecting the 5,000 families and businesses that were displaced from the flood of 2008."
Fine also cited that legislation, saying Reardon wasn't the primary author and that Soliday led the charge. But that's the way it works sometimes. A minority party legislator sometimes has to give credit to a colleague in the majority to accomplish what must be done.
Because it has been a source of controversy, each candidate offered views on education reform.
Fine acknowledged the controversy — "Like most revolutions, there's going to be some mistakes and some blood spilled along the way," he said — but encouraged state intervention to occur sooner, after just two years of failure.
Reardon said she isn't a fan of school vouchers and that public education should not be thrown out.
Reardon walked out with her fellow Democrats in a pique over right-to-work legislation. She has been very accessible to her constituents, however.
We endorse Reardon but admonish her to step up her game and don't just follow the party line.