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May 6, 2012

Five Democrats on ticket for 9th District primary

Winner to face Young in November runoff

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — The 9th District U.S. Congressional Democratic primary is packed with five candidates vying to garner their party’s nod Tuesday and move forward to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Todd Young in November.

Jonathan George, John Miller, Shelli Yoder, Robert Winningham and John Tilford round out the Democratic ticket for the 9th District House race.

Yoder, 43, is a former Miss Indiana who said her dissatisfaction with the current political representation for working class Hoosiers pushed her into joining the race.

Winningham, 50, worked under former Congressman Lee Hamilton primarily assisting in economic development projects.

George, 55, has a storied history in the military including overseeing the training of Afghanistan security forces as well as commanding two Air Force wings and a B-2 Stealth Bomber squadron.

Miller, 55, said both Republicans and Democrats have failed the American people and is campaigning as a candidate who will fight against corporate greed, in part by pushing to bring back Glass-Steagall regulations as a way to monitor lending institutions.

Tilford, 65, also has an extensive military background and has vowed to only serve one term if he’s elected to Congress. Additionally, Tilford isn’t accepting private campaign donations.

George: “I’m concerned about humanity”

George said he didn’t give much thought to running for public office until he returned home to Lawrence County after serving overseas and found that the country was “looking worse than when it did when I was a youngster.”

“I’m concerned about our responsibility as Americans to continue to try and foster a better world,” said George, who joined the U.S. Air Force in 1981 and has been tabbed by the likes of President Ronald Reagan and President Barack Obama to serve in various roles including as a member of the National Security Staff.

While he doesn’t have a voting record to tout, George said his 30-year military career speaks for itself when it comes to management and performance. George oversaw billions of dollars in equipment and thousands of soldiers while leading the first three nights of air strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

“I think that I’ve been exposed to a wide range of ideas and experiences that quickly give Southern Indiana a big boost if I get elected,” he said.

George actually advocated to only use air strikes in Afghanistan as opposed to an on ground invasion similar to what President George Bush did during the first Gulf War.

“I wish we had followed that with both Afghanistan and Iraq,” he said.

Agriculture, Social Security and education are also key issues for George, who believes the next two election cycles for America “may very well dictate what happens to the world.”

“I think we always feel that the next election is at a crucial time, and there certainly have been some that were at very crucial times, but this is maybe one of the most crucial times in our history because the word is changing so rapidly,” George said.

Learn more about George at

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