Todd Young is projected as Indiana’s next senator, defeating Democratic candidate Evan Bayh with 51.6 percent of the vote against Bayh’s 42.9 percent, according to the Indiana Daily Student’s results as of press time.
“Thank you, Indiana,” Young said. “Tonight Indiana voted for change in Washington. They voted to send in the Marine.”
Young grew up in Indiana and served in the U.S. Navy and the Marines before working as an adjunct professor of public affairs in the School of Public and Enviornmental Affairs and earning his J.D. from IU-Purdue University Indianapolis’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law at night. He was elected Indiana’s District 9 representative in 2011 and has held the position since. Young gave up the opportunity to run again for the position so he could run for Senate.
Young is a self-described “Marine unafraid to stand for conservative principles.” Among these principles is the right to bear arms and the abolishment of abortion.
Brian Gamache, IU senior and president of College Republicans, said that Young’s projected win is the result of thousands of hours of work.
“He’s the reason I got involved in politics and IU College Republicans,” Gamache said. “He’s my guy. He’s the boss.”
This isn’t the reaction from everyone in the state, however.
“I stand to help in the years to come to help my fellow citizens in any capacity to serve,” Bayh said in his consession speech. “I also hope more than anything that together we can find a better kind of politics one that emphasizes hope not fear, doesn’t divide us.”
Bayh ended his concession speech by singing his twin sons, Beau and Nick, a happy 21st birthday. The whole crowd sang along as he walked off stage.
“I think that Todd Young ran a really negative campaign,” Andrew Hanna, 25, said. “I think Evan Bayh simply didn’t go as negative as Todd Young.”
Young said at the senatorial debate in October that he is a better fit for senator than Bayh when it comes to foreign policy and combating the Islamic State because of his real-world experience in the military.
“I haven’t just sat in committee rooms and monitored this situation,” Young said in the debate. “I actually understand what a Marine on the ground goes through. I’ve seen generals and admirals struggle with different situations.”
On the economy, Young said too many Americans don’t have jobs, and Washington is not concerned, according to his website. He wants to change this through his work on the budget committee in Congress and work with Chairman Paul Ryan to build the budget. He also voted for three fair trade agreements, which created an expanded marketplace for Indiana farmers and manufacturers, in particular.
The national debt is “the single greatest threat to our nation’s future,” according to Young’s website. Young has previously voted in favor of adding a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. He also was a co-sponsor of the Cut, Cap and Balance debt limit legislation, which would decrease federal spending for two years and enforce spending caps.
Washington is dead set on controlling education decision and budgets, according to Young’s website. As the father of four children, Young said in an address to the IU College Republicans in October that he supports a family’s right to make the decision to put their child in the best position to succeed. Also, Young introduced the Investing in Student Success Act of 2015, which would create a debt-free alternative option for financing higher education.
“‘Obamacare’ is nothing short of a government takeover of your healthcare,” according to Young’s website. He believes that healthcare decisions should be between a patient and their doctor, not a patient and the government.
Serena Gannon, Greenfield, Indiana, resident, said she was excited by the projected Young win.
“I’m always happy to see any success on the Republican ticket,” Gannon said. “I wasn’t sure, he was up some stiff competition.”
Gannon said she thinks the Republicans have a great message, but fears that it’s looked upon as “your dad’s party.”
“When I see young people in this audience, especially college age people, it’s exciting,” Gannon said.
Gamache said Young inspires loyalty as a leader, not just a politician.
“He inspires people to get behind causes,” Gamache said. “It’s the simple things executed daily, he does these things so well.”
Young thanked his family for the win, in addition to the help from god.
“I’m overwhelmed by the history of this moment,” Young said. “Tonight, we Hoosiers have once again proven that democracy works.”
Tonight’s victory belongs to those of us who believe that Indiana and America are bigger than its problems, Young said.
“Starting tonight, you’ve sent in a Marine to solve problems,” Young said. “So I pledge to you I’ll always do what’s right for Hoosiers.”
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.