In November, all 100 members of the Indiana House of Representatives will be up for re-election. Republicans currently hold a 70-30 advantage in the body after being in the minority as recently as 2008. With control of Senate with a 40-9 edge and the governor's mansion, the GOP has total control of the state government, and unsurprisingly the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence gives the state a D- for its gun laws, and the state has a gun death rate of 12.7 out of 100,000.
To help improve this, LEAP Forward is happy to endorse Mark Hinton, who we believe will provide new voices and more reasonable solutions not only to the gun debate, but to all the issues the state faces.
A lifelong Hoosier, Mark is running on a platform focused on properly funding public education, infrastructure, and addressing the gender wage gap. He's committed to taking a different approach to political service, committing to hold regular district meetings, offering full transparency in his decision-making, and explaining his votes to his constituency.
His opponent, Rep. Jerry Torr, received a perfect negative score based on his actions during the 2017 legislative session and is one of the most pro-gun incumbents in the state house. As Hinton points out, Torr "has sponsored or co-sponsored very dangerous bills that allow individuals to bring guns to school, bring guns into statehouse, bring guns into domestic violence situations."
In contrast, Mark opposes the worst of these bills, the "Constitutional Carry" legislation that would make Indiana a "Guns Anywhere" state. With the US Congress considering Concealed Carry Reciprocity, battles like this one in state houses are no longer local issues, and he understands what is at stake.
In his bio, Hinton writes:
The most significant role I play is that of father to my 14-year-old daughter. Her future and that of all Hoosiers is the reason that I am running for this office. We are at a critical point in Indiana’s future. We must not only address the problems that we are facing (opioid crisis, education, wage growth, infrastructure) but we also need to be proactive in setting policy for the future. We need a legislature that addresses problems proactively, before they take a huge toll financially as well as in the lives of those affected.
That approach is one that is sorely needed in the Indiana House, and we look forward to Mark bringing his voice to a politics that is in desperate need of it.