Elrod to run against Carson in seventh district - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Elrod to run against Carson in seventh district

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Rep. Julia Carson (D-IN07) Rep. Julia Carson (D-IN07)
State Rep. Jon Elrod (R-District 97) State Rep. Jon Elrod (R-District 97)
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Kevin Rader/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - More names are surfacing as another candidate announces his intention to run against Congresswoman Julia Carson. The ailing Carson has not publicly said if she will seek another term in Washington, but speculation is growing in this race and so is the field of candidates.

Republican State Representative Jon Elrod first walked into the statewide political scene last year. In fact, he walked so much of the 97th District that he wore holes in the bottom of his shoes. Voters rewarded the 29-year-old southsider with an upset victory. Now he's going to try and tackle the 7th U.S. Congressional District.

"I have never been afraid of the running against the numbers. In fact both of my elections were stunning upsets by a Center Township Republican," said Elrod.

Standing in front of his own house, Elrod admitted he was inspired by Mayor-Elect Greg Ballard's victory and sees some comparisons.

"It will take a lot more money than my last two races but what we saw with Greg Ballard money isn't everything," he said.

Incumbent Rep. Julia Carson's health is prompting some concern. She has been on administrative leave from Congress since the end of September. Former Representative Andy Jacobs told our partners at the Indianapolis Star that he is backing Andre Carson if and when she retires.

Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson also casts a big shadow.

"It's a six foot four shadow and if she doesn't run he would be a very strong candidate and I believe he carried that district," said Robin Winston (D-WTHR political analyst.)

Elrod expects a crowded field in the primary that already includes Wayne Harmon, who already made news by sending Congresswoman Carson a get well soon card.

Responding in a statement, Rep. Carson says, "The announcement of a second opponent comes as no surprise to me. According to my recollection, there has never been an election to Congress in my district without opposition."

"I am not under any delusions that I will show up and change everything by snapping my fingers but I do promise to be part of the solution and not part of the problem," said Elrod.

Another interesting aside: Elrod only won his legislative seat by a handful of votes and facing an upcoming presidential election some speculate he might not be able to hold on the seat he has, which skews Democratic anyway, he may have nothing to lose.

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