Republican incumbent Rep. Luke Messer easily won re-election to represent Indiana’s 6th District in Congress for another two years.
In Hancock County, Messer received 26,315 votes (73.7 percent) compared with 7,822 votes (21.9 percent) for Fayette County’s Barry Welsh, a Democrat, and 1,553 votes (4.3 percent) for Libertarian Rich Turvey of Eaton.
Indiana’s 6th District includes 19 counties, from Delaware County on the north end, to Jefferson and Switzerland counties to the south.
Messer, 45, who is from Greensburg, was first elected to the 6th District seat in 2012, succeeding Republican Mike Pence, who was successful in his gubernatorial bid that year.
Describing Tuesday night as an exciting night, Messer said he and his campaign staff never take any election for granted.
“This has been the craziest election year I’ve ever seen,” he said in a telephone interview after much of the vote was in across the district.
“What is clear is that the American people want Washington back on the side of working Americans, and we are going to be working to make that happen,” Messer said.
During the campaign, Messer told voters it was time to balance the budget, reduce costly regulations and establish a fair and simpler tax code to encourage investment and private-sector growth.
In the three-candidate race, Welsh described himself as an independent running as a Democrat. A freelance sports reporter/photographer and author, Welsh had advocated increasing the minimum wage to a living wage and having the state focus on its infrastructure, including waterlines, overpasses, bridges, power grid, dams and roads.
Turvey, 44, a production manager at 3M, had advocated less federally restrictive regulations from agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. He had also advocated protecting the security of Americans by bringing the military home from the Middle East.