Candidates bring experience to District 47 race


Democrat Nick Siler is challenging Republican incumbent Erin Houchin for the District 47 Indiana Senate seat.


Each offers a wealth of experience and clear visions of what they want to do in the position.

Voters will decide on Nov. 6 which one will get a chance to work on those ideas.

District 47 includes Columbia, Ferdinand, Hall, Harbison, Jackson, Jefferson and Marion townships in Dubois County and all of Washington, Harrison, Orange, Crawford and Perry counties.

Houchin, 42, resides in Salem and served as state senator for the last four years.

She is a graduate of Indiana University and has worked with the Indiana Department of Child Services, the Community Alliance Promoting Education, New Hope Services, Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, and as southeast Indiana’s regional director for then U.S. Sen. Dan Coats,

“I have lived, worked, and served in southern Indiana my entire life,” she said. “I am focused on my constituents and our unique challenges.”

Houchin said her focus has been on “creating good-paying jobs by supporting small businesses and keeping taxes low, giving law enforcement the tools and support necessary to combat the drug epidemic and hold criminals accountable for their actions, improving educational opportunities for our children by investing in education and empowering parents, and expanding access to affordable and efficient utility and broadband services to rural communities.

“Indiana is on the right track,” she said. “Our efforts have paid off, but there is still work to be done.”

The biggest issues facing the district, Houchin said, are the increasing drug epidemic, the lack of access to affordable and efficient broadband services in rural areas and job creation.

“We must address the drug epidemic on multiple fronts,” she said. “Ensuring adequate treatment options, while also strengthening penalties for the worst of the worst drug dealers, and holding them accountable for their actions is critical. We must also continue to address the opioid epidemic at the source, the prescription pad, which I have done through legislation to prevent doctor-hopping and overprescribing.”

She also wants to continue working on increasing access to affordable and efficient broadband services, “a problem within our community that affects our ability to attract and retain jobs, educate our children, and prosper in today’s world,” she said. “I have authored and passed legislation to bridge the digital divide and bring access to where it’s needed most.”

Houchin also wants to continue to support policies promoting businesses and job growth.

“As businesses thrive, so will our workers,” she said. “I will continue advocating for sound policies which benefit businesses and employees alike.”

Houchin and her husband, Dustin, have three children. More information about Houchin can be found at

Siler, 38, is an attorney in Leavenworth who has experience in private practice as well as with the Indiana Department of Child Services as counsel.

“I have seen the challenges and seen the unmet needs that families in southern Indiana face,” he said “I have worked to treat everyone with whom I come into contact as equals, worthy of dignity and respect. I will listen to my constituents, and will stress that I am going to Indianapolis to represent them, not coming from Indianapolis to try to sell my constituents on policies dictated by lobbyists and other special interests.”

He is running to take southern Indiana’s voice to the statehouse, he said.

“At this time, I believe that the voices of southern Indiana workers, teachers, families, taxpayers, and local governments are not being heard in Indianapolis,” he said. “While banks, insurance companies, telecommunications, and other special interests are getting everything they want, taxpayers need a watchdog who will look out for everyday people in the six counties of Senate District 47.”

Siler said public education is the most important issue facing Indiana.

“Indiana has decided to fund a failing experiment in skimming dollars away from public education professionals and giving money to charter schools, private school vouchers to the well-heeled, and segregating students rather than increasing equality of opportunity for all students,” he said. “Public dollars should be for public education. School funding from the state needs to assist poor and rural school districts in a greater way, with less help given to the wealthy suburbs. A child needs to be able to have the chance to succeed in every public school classroom in Indiana.”

He also wants to work on public infrastructure and public health, including mental health.

“If Indiana is going to be a state that attracts creative people, private investment and the jobs of the future, we need a strong, durable public sector to create the conditions that allows private investment and high-wage jobs to thrive,” Siler said. “This can be done through a strong infrastructure, with affordable and abundant public utilities and internet services, the best public education system in the United States, affordable health care, and public safety in all neighborhoods of Indiana.”

Siler and his wife, Emily, have two sons. Information about his campaign can be found at


Other local races include:


U.S. Senate (Mike Braun / Lucy Brenton / Joe Donnelly)

District 8 U.S. Representative (Larry Bucshon / William Tanoos)

Indiana Senate 47 (Erin Houchin / Nick Siler)

Indiana House 63 (Joe Lannan / Shane Lindauer)

Indiana House 74 (Steve Bartels / Larry Kleeman)

Dubois County Sheriff (Tom Kleinhelter / Tim Lampert)

Dubois County Clerk (Amy Kippenbrock / Kiersten Knies)

Dubois County Recorder (Jackie McPherron / Gail Reutman)

Dubois County Assessor (Eve Drew / Angie Giesler)

Dubois County Council District 2 (Becky Beckman / Darren Patterson)

Dubois County Council District 3 (Charmain Klem / Deborah Major)

Cass Township Advisory Board (Lee Bilderback / Randy Boehm / Steve Eckert / Lisa Matthews)

Patoka Township Trustee (Don Astrike / Jeff Summers)

Madison Township Trustee (Scott Blazey / Brett Collignon)

Southwest Dubois School Board (Jason Heile / Belinda Lange)

Greater Jasper School Board (Jimmy Corbin / Ken Schnaus)

Spencer County Roundup


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