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April 12, 2012

News and Tribune letters: April 12, 2012

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Former state senator urges vote for Congress

I am writing to tell you about a friend, distinguished leader and a Democratic candidate for the United States Congress. His name is Robert Winningham and I feel so passionate about Robert, his experience and his message that I took a rare step to publicly endorse him for Congress.

Right now, people in our area are hurting. They are faced with difficult financial decisions as a result of unemployment or under-employment. They feel the pinch of high gasoline prices. They are worried about the future of their children or grandchildren and wonder what the quality of life will be like for them as they enter adulthood. They are frustrated with a political system that is broken and doesn’t listen to their needs and concerns.    

Robert has the experience to hit the ground running in Congress and he knows how to create jobs. He worked closely under former Congressman Lee Hamilton as his staff assistant for Community Development, working on area projects such as the Ohio River Greenway, the creation of River Ridge and the establishment of the Crawford County Industrial Park.

After serving with Lee, he became a successful economic development director, and in that role helped create 5,200 jobs in the last five years, expanded industrial and office parks and improved the workforce through education and training.

As a former educator, I’m impressed with Robert’s understanding of the challenges that face our students and teachers throughout Indiana. Robert appreciates the importance of a strong public education system and understands that for our schools to succeed, we need all parties — teachers, parents, community leaders and the private sector — at the table. Instead of an atmosphere of distrust and antagonism, Robert wants to build an environment of partnership and shared respect benefiting our youth.

Robert knows that an intelligent and educated workforce is vital to job creation. He supports investing in our workers to provide them the skills necessary to compete in the global economy. He supports investment in research and advanced technology to continue America’s scientific edge. He supports the development and repair of our public infrastructure — roads, bridges and communication systems — to ensure that our economy moves at the speed of business instead of being mired in delays.

More importantly Robert will listen, be accessible and serve with integrity. He’ll be focused on obtaining real results for the citizens of the 9th Congressional District. I urge you to join me in supporting him in the Democratic Primary on May 8.

— Connie Sipes, New Albany

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