Rep. Roskam joins Young at campaign headquarters
Bloomington residents Pat and Bob Williams donned red, white and blue as they sat on couches in a room lined with campaign posters, American flags and volunteer sign-in sheets.
The couple, along with about 20 other local Republicans, gathered at the Monroe County GOP Headquarters on Saturday with only two days’ notice to support Rep. Todd Young, R-9th District, and meet U.S. House Majority Chief Deputy Whip Rep. Peter Roskam, R-6th District of Illinois.
Roskam, who lives in Wheaton, Ill., stopped by Bloomington on his way home from a Romney-Ryan rally in Cincinnati.
He was in the area and decided to reach out to Young to support his campaign for reelection, Roskam said.
“It’s an important seat,” Roskam said. “If we can send people like Todd, we’re going to start getting our spending under control and living within our means.”
Young and Roskam shook hands and met with constituents, pausing to each give a brief speech to the group.
Young spoke about his belief in trusting the American people and championing hard-working entrepreneurs, using late Bloomington resident Bill Cook as a model.
Cook started Cook Inc., a Bloomington-based medical device manufacturing company, from the ground up. The company currently employs about 10,000 people.
“Time and again, this is how the American people have responded to adversity,” Young said.
In the speech that followed, Roskam mentioned the importance of Young’s reelection as a way for Republicans to run up the score for 2014.
“If you support Todd, it will have a buoying effect,” Roskam said. “Let’s make this district a solid Republican district.”
The audience responded with applause. One man gave a resounding “Amen.”
Roskam and Young both commended the group for creating a strong conservative presence in what is often viewed as a “liberal university community.”
“These are conservative die-hards,” Young said. “Living in Bloomington, for a conservative, is a form of mission work.”
Roskam said he believes the campaign’s success is a reflection of Young.
“He’s able to communicate beyond bumper stickers and sound bites,” Roskam said. “He’s able to find common ground with people. That’s not a universal characteristic among members of Congress.”
Following their speeches, Roskam and Young spoke with the younger crowd in the room, which included members of Young’s campaign staff as well as representatives from IU and national College Republicans.
Clay Helton, a representative from the College Republicans National Committee, said he was sent to IU to work with the IU College Republicans in reelecting Young.
“We want Todd to be back in Washington because he has such a logical voice,” Helton said.
Young interrupted the discussion to give the announcement that IU football had just lost to Navy 31 to 30. The crowd chuckled as Young said he was “expressionless” after hearing the score.
Young received his undergraduate degree from the United States Naval Academy and a law degree from IU.
Young has two weeks left to campaign and plans to debate Democratic opponent Shelli Yoder on Tuesday and Oct. 29, he said.
“We’re wrapping up our phone banks and deploying people for door-to-door operations,” Young said.
Young said introducing local constituents to visiting House leaders like Roskam is a great way to motivate voters.
“It reminds people of the national importance of this race,” Young said. “It will give us a boost of energy as we hit the home stretch.”
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