0331 sixth district GOP preview grids

Grids and bios attached for 6th District GOP congressional candidates Luke Messer, Jeff Smith and Charles “Chuck” Johnson Jr.

Luke Messer grid

What are your legislative priorities if you are elected to represent District 6 in the U.S. House of Representatives?

Providing for our national defense, protecting our border, tax reform, encouraging job creation and higher wages by getting government out of the way and giving every Hoosier access to the education needed to succeed in our 21st century global economy.

As a congressman, how would you work to improve Indiana’s educational system?

We can improve Indiana’s education system by restoring local control. The federal government’s top-down, one-size-fits-all education mandates are failing our kids. I’m working in Congress to empower those we trust — our local administrators, teachers and parents — to make education decisions for our children, not federal bureaucrats.

Manufacturers such as Carrier in Indianapolis are leaving the United States, blaming federal regulation for their move to Mexico. What is your stance on business regulation? Do you believe business and industry is regulated too much, or not enough?

Too much. We all want a clean environment and safe workplaces. But excessive bureaucratic red tape is costing Americans their jobs; we don’t need more of it. Too often, I hear from manufacturers and business owners who are faced with unaffordable mandates and the end result is fewer jobs.

There is a new administration coming in. How would you contribute toward support of the new president’s initiatives, whether the new president is Republican or Democrat?

Today, it’s hard to know what those initiatives might be. To the extent their approach aligns with my principles — opportunity for all, growing paychecks for hardworking Americans, protecting life, defending the Second Amendment and supporting our military and veterans — I’m ready to work with any new president.

Jeff Smith grid

What are your legislative priorities if you are elected to represent District 6 in the U.S. House of Representatives?

Re-enact the Glass-Stegall Act (bank reform legislation). Stop the TPP trade deal (free trade deals are job killers and in some instances require us to give up sovereignty as a nation to foreign entities). Set a firm debt ceiling and quit kicking the proverbial can down the road.

As a congressman, how would you work to improve Indiana’s educational system?

Eliminate the Department of Education and redistribute its budget to states. Local and state boards of education and state government elected officials would serve our students better than bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. We need to get back to the basics, as it is impossible to build on a weak foundation.

Manufacturers such as Carrier in Indianapolis are leaving the United States, blaming federal regulation for their move to Mexico. What is your stance on business regulation? Do you believe business and industry is regulated too much, or not enough?

I do believe businesses are regulated too much. Businesses are being choked to death as the Federal Register has over 80,000 pages of regulations — and counting.

There is a new administration coming in. How would you contribute toward support of the new president’s initiatives, whether the new president is Republican or Democrat?

I will not play partisan politics. I would support or oppose a bill or policy on either side of the aisle if I thought it was in the best interest of America and her people.

Charles 'Chuck' Johnson Jr. grid

What are your legislative priorities if you are elected to represent District 6 in the U.S. House of Representatives?

Stop sending aid to countries who hate us. Boycott countries that demonize women like Saudi Arabia. Quit crossing oceans for people who wouldn’t jump puddles for us.

As a congressman, how would you work to improve Indiana’s educational system?

I would push for more parental responsibility. I am a big supporter of home schooling. I would like to stop all tax dollars for education from leaving the state and have them returned to the state by the federal government. Give more control of the schools to the state.

Manufacturers such as Carrier in Indianapolis are leaving the United States, blaming federal regulation for their move to Mexico. What is your stance on business regulation? Do you believe business and industry is regulated too much, or not enough?

Industry is regulated too much. I would like to see a fixed tax liability for old and new industry. If Congress had limited political capital we should be spending less of it inflicting harm.

There is a new administration coming in. How would you contribute toward support of the new president’s initiatives, whether the new president is Republican or Democrat?

I will stand with the Constitution. I will support any Republican or Democrat who works for that standard set by our founding fathers.

Luke Messer

Name: Luke Messer

Party: Republican

Age: 47

City of residence: Greensburg

Occupation: Attorney

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Wabash College and law degree from Vanderbilt University

Previous elected offices held (and when): State representative, 2003-07; U.S. Congress, 2013-current.

Previous elected offices sought (and when): U.S. Congress, 2000; state representative, 2003; U.S. Congress, 2010 and 2012.

Community involvement: Presbyterian church member and youth sports coach

Immediate family: Wife, Jennifer; three children, Emma, Ava and Hudson

Charles (Chuck) Johnson Jr.

Name: Charles (Chuck) Johnson Jr.

Party: Republican

Age: 41

City of residence: Madison

Occupation: Self-employed in materials transfer

Education: Madison Consolidated High School, 1993

Previous elected offices held (and when): Smyrna Township Advisory Board, 2014

Previous elected offices sought (and when): None

Community involvement: Works with almost all nonprofits in Jefferson County.

Immediate family: Son, Charles Johnson III

Jeff Smith

Name: Jeff Smith

Party: Republican

Age: 53

City of residence: Liberty

Occupation: Process associate at local manufacturing plant

Education: Ross Senior High School and D. Russell Lee Vocational School

Previous elected offices held (and when): Butler County (Ohio) School Board, 1984-86

Previous elected offices sought (and when): None

Community involvement: None

Immediate family: Wife, Kim; daughter Jessica and husband Sean; son Zach and fiancée Sarah

Author photo
Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.