GOP ramping up Carbaugh support

November 2, 2018 GMT

INDIANAPOLIS : Republican state Rep. Martin Carbaugh of Fort Wayne appears to be in trouble in his campaign for a fourth term in the Indiana House.

In the past 10 days, the Indiana House Republican Campaign Committee has dropped more than $82,000 into Carbaugh’s coffers as Democratic newcomer Kyle Miller threatens an upset.

About $8,500 of that went for polling in House District 81, and more went to negative mailers.

Miller, a Homestead High School graduate and office manager at a local business, said he has done no polling but, judging by the response from Carbaugh and the GOP, “it’s closer than most people would think.” He said one political analyst says the race is essentially a toss-up.

Carbaugh, a financial adviser and committee chairman in the House, said the district has always been competitive, with a lot of independent-minded voters.

“That’s why every cycle, I knock on thousands of doors so I can make sure I know the issues that matter the most to the people in our district,” he said. “The top issues on people’s minds at the doors are good jobs, fully funding our local schools and rebuilding our local infrastructure.

“The voters in the 81st district know where I stand on these important issues, because I’m talking to them all the time. And it’s important for them to know where my opponent stands on the issues as well, because his views are out of touch with our district.”

He declined to comment specifically on the negative mailers.

One of them has a picture of rioters with covered faces and says radical liberals like Miller want a revolution. Another says Miller is part of an angry left-wing mob and he supports “restricting our basic rights like free speech and association, property rights, and the right to defend ourselves.”

No explanation or justification for the statements is provided.

Miller said the mailer is being used statewide by the GOP this year : just replacing individual candidates’ names and photos.

“If you’re going to hit me, fine, but don’t lie about me to do it,” he said. “Martin Carbaugh is nervous that the voters in the 81st district are going to vote for someone that actually stands with them and listens to their concerns.

“The idea that I want to bring violence to our community, or that I’m part of some ‘left wing mob’ is ridiculously untrue, and it’s disheartening that, in today’s political climate, fighting for basic human needs and decency is a radical idea.”

He said the mailers show that his work knocking on 9,000 doors is making a difference.

Miller was already outmatched in fundraising, bringing in only 165,000 during that period.

And that’s before the barrage of new donations.

“This is a close race for us, and we’ve been doing the hard work needed to win since early this year,” Miller said. “I’ll continue meeting with my neighbors and talking about the issues that matter in our community.”

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s Political Action Committee also recently gave $10,000 to Carbaugh.