TERRE HAUTE —
Incumbent Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Newburgh, overcame an energetic challenge Tuesday to win the Republican Party primary for Indiana’s 8th congressional district.
With 99 percent of the votes counted, Bucshon, a first-term congressman, had 58 percent of the vote in Indiana’s “bloody 8th,” which includes all of southwestern Indiana and extends as far north as Covington.
“I’m honored and humbled to have won,” Bucshon said Tuesday, speaking from Washington where he remained to take part in a House-Senate conference committee meeting concerning transportation legislation.
Bucshon, 49, defeated second-time GOP primary candidate Kristi Risk, an Owen County mother-of-four and tea party-supported “constitutional conservative.” Risk placed a close second to Bucshon in an eight-way GOP primary in 2010.
“I feel good. We ran hard,” Risk said Tuesday night from Evansville where her campaign awaited election results. “I said all along that we were going to give people a choice. We gave people a choice.”
With State Treasurer Richard Mourdock’s victory over incumbent Richard Lugar, it might have appeared to be a good night for any tea party-supported candidates, such as Risk. But Bucshon said some of his supporters were also part of the tea party movement.
“I have a tremendous amount of support from people who are self-identified members of the tea party,” Bucshon said. “I have broad appeal across the spectrum within the Republican Party, including self-identified tea party members, and I appreciate that support.”
In her campaign, Risk, 41, targeted Bucshon’s voting record, stating his support for continuing resolutions to keep the government funded amounted to increased spending, something Bucshon denied.
In his primary campaign, Bucshon highlighted his training as a heart surgeon and also touted his credentials as a conservative.
Bucshon will face Dave Crooks in the November general election. Crooks, a former six-term member of the Indiana House of Representatives, defeated two candidates, Thomas Barnett, 27, and William Bryk, 57, in the Democratic primary.
Last December, a Democratic Party caucus in Vincennes selected Crooks, 48, from among three candidates to represent the party in the primary. The goal was to allow the party to conserve resources for the general election campaign. However, Barnett, an Owen County organic produce farmer, and Bryk, a New York City attorney, entered the race.