Ellington to challenge Bales in primary

By Eric Seymour

On January 10th at the Ellettsville Fire Station, Monroe County Councilman and volunteer firefighter Jeff Ellington sounded a call that woke scores of local Republicans out of an off-year political hibernation. His announcement to oppose incumbent State Representative Jerry Bales in the Republican primary election for District 60 heralded what could easily become the most hotly contested primary race in southern Indiana.

An estimated 150 friends, supporters, and onlookers gathered to hear from Ellington and other supporting political figures, including former State Representative David Lohr and 1996 Lieutenant Governor nominee George Witwer. The atmosphere in the room was highly charged as Witwer introduced Ellington and defined the importance of primary elections. "The job of the primary is to decide 'what does our party stand for?'" asserted Witwer. He went on to explain that it is not a time for compromise, but to determine principals.

In his speech, Ellington set forth the principals he seeks to bring to the statehouse, beginning by stating "Campaigning is a serious business, but government is a serious responsibility." He said the campaign would not be about Jerry Bales' friendships with liberal Democrat legislators Mark Kruzan and Vi Simpson, as Ellington himself has friends who are Democrats. But he then pointed out that "having friends in the opposing party is one thing, but supporting their political agenda is another."

Ellington said that reducing the size of government is an obligation, not an option--that the role of government should be to invest in things which help citizens reach their own potential, not restrict it. To this end, he said that churches, charities, and other private institutions must be protected from government intervention, so that they may also help us reach our potential.

As to Indiana's $2 billion surplus, Ellington pointed out that this money was raised on the backs of hard-working families. He expressed disgust at legislators making promises to the people as to how they will spend these families' money. Instead of these election-year gimmicks, Hoosiers deserve permanent tax relief, according to Ellington. "High taxes are not only economically harmful, but morally wrong because they take away jobs," he said.

Ellington summed up his speech by stating that his pro-family, pro-life, and pro-education beliefs are the only reason he is in politics, and his only goal in running for office is to make Indiana a better place to live and raise a family.

Jeff Ellington's campaign home page is: http://www.wvmt.com/ellington98

Eric Seymour

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