Goshen News, Goshen, IN

May 11, 2014

OUR VIEW: District 22 race was fair game

Goshen News

---- — Well, the primary election season is now behind us and we can all take a deep, cleansing breath before the campaigns for November’s general election heat up again later this year.

First, we’d like to congratulate all of Tuesday’s winners in The Goshen News circulation area. It’s not easy to run for office. It’s even harder to win. The primary essentially sets the lineup card for the Democratic and Republican tickets, so there is still plenty of work for these victorious candidates to do before true victory is realized.

As for those who did not advance onto November’s ballot, we congratulate them also and thank them for having the courage and commitment to the community to try and serve. Even in defeat they make us stronger.

THE MOST WATCHED and talked-about primary race in our area was for Indiana District 22 state representative. That office, which serves much of Kosciusko County and southern Elkhart County, pitted Republican newcomer Curt Nisly of Goshen against two-term incumbent Rebecca Kubacki of Syracuse. Nisly ended up easily upsetting Kubacki by garnering 65 percent of the vote.

Kubacki was chairwoman of the Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee and had made a name for herself at the Statehouse since she was first elected in 2010. Just last month her SEA 138 bill to assist victims of domestic violence was signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence. The new state law will allow victim advocates to sit at the table with victims and their attorneys during court proceedings for added support. We would be remiss if we didn’t thank Rep. Kubacki for her service to our community and state.

Much was written about the Nisly-Kubacki primary race as each camp accused the other of dirty politics and negative campaigning. While this was Nisly’s first run at office, he benefitted greatly from an experienced and well-organized cast of supporters. His campaign also took full advantage of Kubacki’s voting record this past short session, which is always fair game.

DURING THE HEATED and complex debate regarding adding a definition of marriage into Indiana’s Constitution as between one man and one women, Kubacki voted this past January to remove the second sentence of the amendment that would have also banned civil unions and later voted against the amendment itself. While the amendment passed the House, it cannot go to a statewide referendum until the same language is passed by a consecutive General Assembly. That would now be 2016.

While this newspaper agrees with the way Kubacki voted — we are opposed to editing discrimination into our state Constitution — we also knew her future in ultra-conservative District 22 would be at risk because of it. We admire Kubacki’s courage by voting how she did, but we also have to respect her constituency’s right to disagree and make a change.

There is still much to learn about Nisly and his Democratic challenger David Kolbe of Warsaw, a former prosecuting attorney for Kosciusko County. We look forward to doing just that as November approaches.