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Pete Visclosky

U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Gary

There's only one serious candidate for Indiana's First Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Incumbent Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Gary, secures our endorsement in a virtual no-contest against Republican challenger Mark Leyva.

Visclosky continues to keep a steady hand on projects paramount to the Region's economic growth and success.

He remains the most ardent champion of commuter rail expansion — and the new Region economy that would follow.

Out of all Region, state and federal officials, Visclosky can claim the largest share of stewardship for the plan to extend the South Shore Line from Hammond to Dyer and to double-track the commuter line between Gary and Michigan City.

Because of his leadership, and the project's ability to unite so many bipartisan government and community leaders, commuter rail extension is a close as it has ever been to receiving the matching federal funds it deserves.

Visclosky also successfully shepherded through the U.S. House a bill that would grant full national park status to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, putting a crown jewel of Region quality of life on a prestigious registry.

Becoming a full national park would increase visibility and attract more visitors to our area — visitors who spend money in the local economy.

That bill, long a goal of Visclosky's, now awaits consideration by the Senate.

Visclosky remains a steadfast champion of fair economic practices for our nation's steel industry. No one in Congress knows how to further or protect this vital Region industry better than he does.

It's been proven year after year.

Region Republicans must either agree Visclosky continues to be the right man for the job, or they're just not trying.

Election cycle after election cycle, we fail to see any serious opponents for Visclosky.

In a county with a growing Republican voice and many quality Republican officeholders at various levels of government, local Republicans can and should be doing better.

Visclosky gets our endorsement, and it's not even close.

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Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editor Marc Chase, Deputy Editor Kerry Erickson, Assistant Local News Editor Crista Zivanovic and Regional News Editor Sharon Ross.