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Montagano a no go

By PA

Fort Wayne Reader

2008-11-06


Local and national Democrats have to be kicking themselves following the election results for Indianaís third district congressional seat, a race that pit Republican incumbent Rep. Mark Souder against Democrat Michael Montagano and Libertarian William Larsen.

Rep. Souder easily won re-election in a race that saw record amounts of cash - just shy of $2.7-million to capture the two-year office. Since Larsen, a perennial candidate for the seat, raised and spent hardly any money, Souder and Montagano get the credit for waging the most costly election campaign in 3rd district history. And if you watched any television or listened to the radio over the last few weeks of the campaign, you saw and heard how a lot of those dollars were spent - on some pretty nasty attack ads.

A lot of that campaign cash came from outside the district. National Republicans, bracing for major loses across the country, hoped to get Souder back for a seventh term. However, national Democrats hoped the 27-year-old law school grad could finally break Souderís 12-year hold on the office.

A big part of that hope was likely based on former Fort Wayne City Councilman Dr. Tom Hayhurst's campaign against Souder two years ago. Hayhurst came closer to beating Souder than probably even Hayhurst had expected. In fact, at the time, some local Democrats complained privately that Hayhurst would have won had he campaigned a little harder.

Democrats have to be wondering whether this year would have been the right time for Hayhurst to run instead of Montagano.

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