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May 8, 2012

Yoder takes 9th District Democratic primary

Former Miss Indiana credits grassroots campaign for her success

NEW ALBANY — Shelli Yoder easily bested four other candidates Tuesday to capture the Democratic nomination for the 9th District U.S. House seat.

With 95 percent of the precincts reported as of press time, Yoder was declared the winner with 11,401 votes, or 46 percent of the total, according to the Associated Press.

Robert Winningham was in second place with 5,310 votes, or 22 percent, and Jonathan George was in third with 4,236 votes, or 17 percent.

Yoder, 43, will face incumbent Republican Rep. Todd Young in the November general election which will determine who will hold the 9th District House seat for the next two years.

Young, who was first elected in 2010, didn’t face an opponent in the GOP primary.

A Bloomington resident and former Miss Indiana, Yoder is seeking her first elected position. She said her campaign proved the importance of making individuals feel like they have a voice.

“This victory is about grassroots movements and that grassroots campaigning is still relevant today,” said Yoder, who didn’t declare for the Democratic primary until Feb. 10.

“I have the up most respect for the other four candidates, who were my opponents, and it was a good race and I’m just honored.”

With all the precincts having reported, Yoder carried Clark and Floyd counties Tuesday.

She captured 2,180 votes, or 42.3 percent of the total, in Clark County and 1,427 votes, or 41.36 percent in Floyd County.

Winningham and George finished second and third respectively behind Yoder in both counties.

Overall, John Miller was fourth and John Tilford was fifth in the 9th District primary as of press time. Miller accrued 1,937 votes, or 8 percent, and John Tilford had 1,793 votes, or 7 percent.

In a statement released late Tuesday evening, Winningham congratulated Yoder on her victory and said he called her to pledge his support to her campaign.

“It was an honor for me to run for Congress, but an even bigger privilege to have the support of so many in this district,” Winningham said.

Now the attention turns to November, and Yoder said she will be a congresswoman who will fight for better jobs, protect Social Security and Medicare and look for ways to improve education if elected.

“We’re just going to start working hard and continue reaching out throughout the entire district making sure that communities, from rural to urban communities, feel like they have an option to vote into Congress a representative who will fight for them, who will take their Hoosier values” to Washington, D.C.

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