3 Candidates For U.S. Congressional District 3 Explain Why They’re Running

October 4, 2023 at 9:44 p.m.
Grant Bucher (L), candidate for Indiana’s 3rd District Congressional seat, talks with Scott Clay and Shawn Brown at the GOP fish fry Wednesday. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
Grant Bucher (L), candidate for Indiana’s 3rd District Congressional seat, talks with Scott Clay and Shawn Brown at the GOP fish fry Wednesday. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union

By DAVID L. SLONE Managing Editor

Nine Republicans are running for the U.S. Congressional District 3 seat, but only a third of them attended Wednesday’s Kosciusko GOP fish fry.
The three candidates - Wendy Davis, Grant Bucher and Michael Felker - hope to capture the Republican nomination in the 2024 May primaries. The winner will then face off against the Democratic Party nominee in the fall. The Democrats have three candidates for their primary. The 3rd District is currently represented by Jim Banks, who is seeking the U.S. Senate seat held by Mike Braun, who is running for Indiana governor.
Wendy Davis
Davis grew up in northeast Indiana on a small farm on the county line road between Allen and Whitley counties.
“I grew up here. I raised my family here. I’ve been an elected judge. I’ve ran in three different elections to be a judge. I was originally a Superior Court judge and then I flipped around and ran for the Circuit Court, so I was the Circuit Court judge,” she said.
Judges run in elections but can’t be political, but Davis said as a judge she saw, over the last three years, “all the American issues ... the failed liberal policies clogged in my courtroom. What does that mean? I had to react to the fentanyl crisis. I ran a veterans court, a mental health and addictions court and I saw fentanyl addicts all over the place. Tried to get them clean. Lost some of them. But fentanyl is everywhere in northeast Indiana. I had some of the drug dealers that come over the border. I have to give them an interpreter. I have to give them a public defender on taxpayers’ dime.”

    Wendy Davis (R), candidate for Indiana’s 3rd District Congressional seat, talks with Lynn Howie Wednesday at the GOP fish fry. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
 
 

Thirteen years ago, Davis said ICE officers would come and get them.
“There’s no immigration system. There’s no ICE officers anywhere,” she said. “I’ve had illegals stand in front of me, and I’m talking to them through the interpreter, that they’ll get arrested for an alcohol-related offense or something and they will tell me their story.”
Davis said she’s heard stories of how they came through the border and now can’t get legal. She’s also had individuals with fake social security numbers, but there’s no immigration system.
“So I’m reacting as a judge. The law’s changed, and I had to start reacting to minor gender changes. So you know now, (thanks to the) state legislature, you can’t get minor gender changes, but families would come in and try to convince me it’s in the best interest of the child so they can take their court order and give it to the doctors,” she said. “For instance, I had an 8-year-old sitting in front of me. Mom’s on the witness stand. They wanted me to change his gender from boy to girl so they could take it to the doctor and start the process. I’m not doing that. I’m not going to do that.”
When the abortion laws changed, Davis said she had a felon come in before her, who was about 21 weeks pregnant, and the felon asked for her ankle brace to be taken off so she could go across state lines and get an abortion.
“Not on my watch. I’m pro-life, obviously,” she said.
With all these policies and things happening, Davis said instead of being accused of being a conservative activist judge, she decided to use her political voice by stepping down as judge and running for the 3rd district. “And really help close the borders. Be a part of bringing back a strong America. Close the borders. Get our economy under control,” she stated.
Davis said she’s running to bring back a strong America for Hoosier families and get the economy under control.
“So I’m running to not react to problems in America, but to be proactive with my strong conservative voice, to bring back a strong America,” she said.
Michael Felker
Felker said he decided to run for the 3rd District because “we’ve got to get a blue collar person in there, somebody who is normal, who is not a politician because unfortunately the politicians really aren’t performing as expected. We need to get some newer blood in there, some people who believe in the people of this country and want to get them back involved in government when the republic actually functioned, which is approximately 30 years ago.”
He said the U.S. government doesn’t balance budgets anymore and lives off continuing resolutions (CRs).

    Michael Felker (R), candidate for Indiana’s 3rd District Congressional seat, speaks to attendees at the GOP fish fry Wednesday. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
 
 

“We have a border wide open. Nothing is getting fixed, probably since I was a kid, and it’s time maybe to change strategies,” Felker, 47, stated.
He said his No. 1 priority is balancing the federal budget.
“The only way that’s ever going to occur in our lifetime - again, I go back to some of the stuff that the Founding Fathers said, which is like Thomas Jefferson - enlightened citizenry is what’s necessary for a functioning republic. The people have to be educated on all things government for the functioning of a republic, so we can’t self-govern unless people get involved,” he stated.
He said District 3 has about 700,000 people and those are the people that need to be involved in government.
Grant Bucher
Ultimately, Bucher said, there’s a number of reasons a person would run for U.S. Congress.
“I wanted to give people another opportunity or another choice in the race. I grew up in Wells County, my wife is from Adams County, we got married. I graduated from Purdue with an engineering degree. Worked in Allen County, now live in Steuben County, so kind of lived all over the district and worked all over the district in the field of construction and really just saw a need in Congress, a need in all of the United States for people to do their job well, to bring reason to conversations and serve others,” he said.
As for what issues Bucher is running on, he stated he is not running on issues because issues change constantly.
“So I’m running on principals of truth, accountability and unity,” he said. “... But as far as issues go, I want to strengthen America militarily, economically and then our families. Militarily, we need to secure our border. We need to build up our military for the next possible conflict. And, economically, we need to become energy independent again. We need to make sure that people who work in the trades or specialty manufacturing or small farms, or large farms for that matter, can make a living and provide for their families. One way that you do that is you tackle inflation and get that down.”
Bucher said he also wants to keep bringing manufacturing stateside.
As for strengthening the families in the nation, he said, “We need to protect life and hold it as sacred. We need to make sure that there’s transparency in schools and parents get to make decisions for their children. And, ultimately, we need to prop up the nuclear family and just reinforce some virtue in the United States. I think we lost our way over many, many years.”
For more information on Bucher, who launched his campaign about a month ago, he encouraged people to check out Bucherforus.com or follow on Facebook and Instagram.
“There are now nine flavors of conservative in the 3rd District race and I’m grateful that people have options. It’s just critically important that northeast Indiana lead the nation in getting to know their candidates better and ensure that people are elected based on depth of character and not just name recognition, but that takes all of us caring,” he said.
Finally, he said he’s an engineer by education, a builder by trade, a husband of 12 years, a father of two boys and a believer in Jesus Christ.
The other six Republicans who are seeking the 3rd District seat are Jon Kenworthy, Tim Smith, Marlin Stutzman, Eric Whalen, Scott Wise and Andy Zay, according to Ballotpedia.org. The Democrats who have filed are Kiley Adolph, Jo Anderson and Phil Goss.


Nine Republicans are running for the U.S. Congressional District 3 seat, but only a third of them attended Wednesday’s Kosciusko GOP fish fry.
The three candidates - Wendy Davis, Grant Bucher and Michael Felker - hope to capture the Republican nomination in the 2024 May primaries. The winner will then face off against the Democratic Party nominee in the fall. The Democrats have three candidates for their primary. The 3rd District is currently represented by Jim Banks, who is seeking the U.S. Senate seat held by Mike Braun, who is running for Indiana governor.
Wendy Davis
Davis grew up in northeast Indiana on a small farm on the county line road between Allen and Whitley counties.
“I grew up here. I raised my family here. I’ve been an elected judge. I’ve ran in three different elections to be a judge. I was originally a Superior Court judge and then I flipped around and ran for the Circuit Court, so I was the Circuit Court judge,” she said.
Judges run in elections but can’t be political, but Davis said as a judge she saw, over the last three years, “all the American issues ... the failed liberal policies clogged in my courtroom. What does that mean? I had to react to the fentanyl crisis. I ran a veterans court, a mental health and addictions court and I saw fentanyl addicts all over the place. Tried to get them clean. Lost some of them. But fentanyl is everywhere in northeast Indiana. I had some of the drug dealers that come over the border. I have to give them an interpreter. I have to give them a public defender on taxpayers’ dime.”

    Wendy Davis (R), candidate for Indiana’s 3rd District Congressional seat, talks with Lynn Howie Wednesday at the GOP fish fry. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
 
 

Thirteen years ago, Davis said ICE officers would come and get them.
“There’s no immigration system. There’s no ICE officers anywhere,” she said. “I’ve had illegals stand in front of me, and I’m talking to them through the interpreter, that they’ll get arrested for an alcohol-related offense or something and they will tell me their story.”
Davis said she’s heard stories of how they came through the border and now can’t get legal. She’s also had individuals with fake social security numbers, but there’s no immigration system.
“So I’m reacting as a judge. The law’s changed, and I had to start reacting to minor gender changes. So you know now, (thanks to the) state legislature, you can’t get minor gender changes, but families would come in and try to convince me it’s in the best interest of the child so they can take their court order and give it to the doctors,” she said. “For instance, I had an 8-year-old sitting in front of me. Mom’s on the witness stand. They wanted me to change his gender from boy to girl so they could take it to the doctor and start the process. I’m not doing that. I’m not going to do that.”
When the abortion laws changed, Davis said she had a felon come in before her, who was about 21 weeks pregnant, and the felon asked for her ankle brace to be taken off so she could go across state lines and get an abortion.
“Not on my watch. I’m pro-life, obviously,” she said.
With all these policies and things happening, Davis said instead of being accused of being a conservative activist judge, she decided to use her political voice by stepping down as judge and running for the 3rd district. “And really help close the borders. Be a part of bringing back a strong America. Close the borders. Get our economy under control,” she stated.
Davis said she’s running to bring back a strong America for Hoosier families and get the economy under control.
“So I’m running to not react to problems in America, but to be proactive with my strong conservative voice, to bring back a strong America,” she said.
Michael Felker
Felker said he decided to run for the 3rd District because “we’ve got to get a blue collar person in there, somebody who is normal, who is not a politician because unfortunately the politicians really aren’t performing as expected. We need to get some newer blood in there, some people who believe in the people of this country and want to get them back involved in government when the republic actually functioned, which is approximately 30 years ago.”
He said the U.S. government doesn’t balance budgets anymore and lives off continuing resolutions (CRs).

    Michael Felker (R), candidate for Indiana’s 3rd District Congressional seat, speaks to attendees at the GOP fish fry Wednesday. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
 
 

“We have a border wide open. Nothing is getting fixed, probably since I was a kid, and it’s time maybe to change strategies,” Felker, 47, stated.
He said his No. 1 priority is balancing the federal budget.
“The only way that’s ever going to occur in our lifetime - again, I go back to some of the stuff that the Founding Fathers said, which is like Thomas Jefferson - enlightened citizenry is what’s necessary for a functioning republic. The people have to be educated on all things government for the functioning of a republic, so we can’t self-govern unless people get involved,” he stated.
He said District 3 has about 700,000 people and those are the people that need to be involved in government.
Grant Bucher
Ultimately, Bucher said, there’s a number of reasons a person would run for U.S. Congress.
“I wanted to give people another opportunity or another choice in the race. I grew up in Wells County, my wife is from Adams County, we got married. I graduated from Purdue with an engineering degree. Worked in Allen County, now live in Steuben County, so kind of lived all over the district and worked all over the district in the field of construction and really just saw a need in Congress, a need in all of the United States for people to do their job well, to bring reason to conversations and serve others,” he said.
As for what issues Bucher is running on, he stated he is not running on issues because issues change constantly.
“So I’m running on principals of truth, accountability and unity,” he said. “... But as far as issues go, I want to strengthen America militarily, economically and then our families. Militarily, we need to secure our border. We need to build up our military for the next possible conflict. And, economically, we need to become energy independent again. We need to make sure that people who work in the trades or specialty manufacturing or small farms, or large farms for that matter, can make a living and provide for their families. One way that you do that is you tackle inflation and get that down.”
Bucher said he also wants to keep bringing manufacturing stateside.
As for strengthening the families in the nation, he said, “We need to protect life and hold it as sacred. We need to make sure that there’s transparency in schools and parents get to make decisions for their children. And, ultimately, we need to prop up the nuclear family and just reinforce some virtue in the United States. I think we lost our way over many, many years.”
For more information on Bucher, who launched his campaign about a month ago, he encouraged people to check out Bucherforus.com or follow on Facebook and Instagram.
“There are now nine flavors of conservative in the 3rd District race and I’m grateful that people have options. It’s just critically important that northeast Indiana lead the nation in getting to know their candidates better and ensure that people are elected based on depth of character and not just name recognition, but that takes all of us caring,” he said.
Finally, he said he’s an engineer by education, a builder by trade, a husband of 12 years, a father of two boys and a believer in Jesus Christ.
The other six Republicans who are seeking the 3rd District seat are Jon Kenworthy, Tim Smith, Marlin Stutzman, Eric Whalen, Scott Wise and Andy Zay, according to Ballotpedia.org. The Democrats who have filed are Kiley Adolph, Jo Anderson and Phil Goss.


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