A state senator from Greenwood lost his bid to win the Republican nomination to represent Johnson County and much of southern Indiana in Congress.
State Sen. Brent Waltz, who previously served on the Johnson County Council, lost the nomination in a five-way race.
Early results from The Associated Press showed Trey Hollingsworth, a business owner in Jeffersonville, won 34 percent of the vote, with about half of precincts reporting. Waltz won 11 percent of the vote.
In Johnson County, Waltz, who lives in the Center Grove area, won 25 percent of the votes. Hollingsworth won 30 percent, while State Sen. Erin Houchin won nearly 20 percent, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller won nearly 21 percent and Robert Hall, a consultant, won 4 percent.
Waltz congratulated Hollingsworth and thanked his supporters after conceding Tuesday night at his campaign event in Greenwood.
“I’ve always said if I have to lose, I’d rather lose looking in the mirror and saying we did everything we could in our power to win,” Waltz said in his concession speech.
Five Republicans and four Democrats had faced off for their party’s nomination for the 9th District Congressional seat. This fall, Hollingsworth will face Shelli Yoder, who won the Democratic Party’s nomination. Yoder won 61 percent of the vote in Johnson County, while Bob Kern, a paralegal, won 17 percent, James R. McClure Jr., an IT analyst, won 14 percent and associate pastor Bill Thomas won 8 percent.
Yoder and Hollingsworth also could face a challenge from a Libertarian or independent candidate, if one is slated before the general election.
The 9th District represents a large swath of the state, including Johnson County and 12 other counties south to the Ohio River. The winner will replace U.S. Rep. Todd Young, who did not run for re-election and instead ran for U.S. Senate.
Candidates from both parties identified jobs, government spending and immigration as key issues in the race for the Congressional seat.
Hollingsworth had cited his experience operating a business and facing federal regulations as a key reason he should be elected, and said government needs to get back to its business sense in order to allow the private sector to create new jobs, he said.
He wanted to see strong growth in the private sector with new products and technology that would lead to more careers, and not just jobs. And that means government also needs to not overspend and not overreach, he said.
Yoder, of Bloomington, was the Democratic nominee in 2012 but lost to Young and has since won a seat on the Monroe County Council. Yoder said she could take what she’s learned at the county level to help bridge the partisanship in Congress that plagues the legislature.
She also wants to invest in 21st-century infrastructure, including expanding broadband Internet access to all people, improving roads and investing in high-speed rails. And her main priority would be to bring and retain high-paying jobs to Indiana, as well as investing in educating and supporting the workforce.
James R. McClure Jr.;14%
Results are unofficial and do not include an estimated 150 votes on a machine at Mount Pleasant Christian Church which could not be tabulated Tuesday night.