The 8th District currently includes: Clay, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, GIbson, Greene, Knox, Martin, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike,
Posey, Spencer, Sullivan, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, and Warwick counties. Crawford County exists in both the 8th and 9th Congressional Districts.
The district is the largest in area in Indiana with all or part of 19 counties.
The district had been nicknamed “The Bloody Eighth” because of a series of hard-fought campaigns and political reversals. Unlike most other districts in the state, which frequently give their representatives long tenures in Washington, the 8th Congressional District has a reputation for frequently ousting its incumbents. Voters in the district ousted six incumbents from 1966 to 1982. The election in 1984 was so close that it was decided in the House of Representatives.
In 2000, a New York Times reporter said of the district: “With a populist streak and a conservative bent, this district does not cotton to social-engineering liberal Democrats.”
A 2017 report by the Cook Political Report named the 8th District the fifth-most “Republican-trending” congressional district in the nation.
Dr. Larry Bucshon was re-elected to serve as 8th District Congressman in November 2018.
GOVERNMENT FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, OF THE PEOPLE
WE BELIEVE, in limited government. We believe that government is intended to protect its people without intruding into their lives. The purpose of government is to protect our liberty, our safety, and our freedom to become whatever God has intended us to become. Limited government is good government.
WE BELIEVE, in a responsible government. We believe we should live within our means. We support balanced budgets, low taxes, and keeping government spending under control. We believe government regulations should be reasonable and restrained.
WE BELIEVE, in Federalism. We believe the federal government was formed by the states, and that the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution appropriately provides that those powers not enumerated to the federal government are reserved to the states and to the people.
WE BELIEVE, in free and fair elections. We believe strongly in the right to vote without undue burdens from the government.
WE BELIEVE, in open and transparent government. We support transparency, accountability, and fairness in all levels of government, believing that government is simply a steward of the resources which have been bestowed upon it by the people.
THE AMERICAN DREAM
We are blessed to live in America and to call ourselves Hoosiers. Indiana Republicans respect diversity of thought and of religious conviction as a fundamental American strength. We embrace, encourage, and will work to ensure the opportunity for full participation of all citizens in government, in the Republican Party, and in the pursuit of economic success. As Republicans, we encourage all Hoosiers to pursue the American dream of growth, prosperity, and self-worth for the betterment of life. Learning the English language is necessary to reach the full potential of the American Dream.
The Two Party System
The existence of two major political parties in America is unique among the world’s political systems. In parliamentary governments, multiple political parties exist requiring a coalition of parties to form a government. One party rule exists in many of the world’s governments. Both situations invite either instability or tyranny.
The two party system in America has its roots in the debate over the ratification of the Constitution. Opinion was divided over the form the new American government should take: one with a strong central government or one with strong states. Federalists and Anti-Federalists argued their cases and voters lined up behind them. The promise of a Bill of Rights amended into the Constitution helped carry the day for ratification and the tradition of two political parties was established.
Over the years, many minor parties have arisen around either special interests or compelling political figures. As noted earlier, the Republican Party emerged from minority party status to become a major party.
Within the two major parties, sharp differences exist on the specifics of various national and local issues. This occasionally causes people to wonder what holds Republicans and Democrats together – what prevents fragmentation into innumerable splinter parties. The answer is that the two party system relies on adherence to fundamental beliefs. Both parties have provided accommodation within their ranks for a wide diversity of views. This has been possible because both parties agree upon certain objectives, e.g., the “welfare of the people,” but disagree upon the means of reaching those goals.
Functions of a Political Party
The two major political parties in Indiana typically perform the following functions:
- Recruit and trains candidates;
- Helps administer the election process;
- Informs voters about public issues;
- Serves as a “watchdog” for opposition party officeholders; and,
- Supports and stands behind their own party’s officeholders.
The County Republican Party
The County Republican Central Committee is composed of the precinct committeemen and vice-committeemen. To become a precinct committeeman a person must (1) file for and win election to the position at the May nominating primary (next election is in 2020); or, in case of a vacancy, (2) be appointed to the position by the county chairman. The person who is elected as the precinct committeeman at the primary appoints a person who must be a qualified elector of the precinct and a member in good standing of the Republican Party, as vice-committeeman. The county chairman is empowered to fill vacancies in the position of vice-committeeperson by appointment.
The County Committee is composed of the precinct committeemen and the precinct vice-committeemen of the respective election precincts in the county. Their term of office begins immediately upon their election or appointment and continues for four years or until the next presidential primary election year. On the first Saturday in March of every fourth year (2021, 2025 etc.) the precinct committeemen and vice-committeemen meet in the county seat between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. for the purpose of electing officers. A chairman, vice-chairman, secretary, treasurer and such other officers and subcommittees as the committee may deem necessary are elected. The chairman, vice-chairman, secretary and treasurer serve a term of four years. Meetings of the county committee may be convened at any time upon the call of the chairman, or upon written notice signed by not less than one half of the members of the committee.
The 8th District Congressional Committee
The Congressional District Committee is composed of the County Chairman and the County Vice-Chairman of each of the several counties in the Congressional District and the Representatives of Crawford County, which is divided between two Congressional Districts. The district reorganization meeting is held between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on the second Saturday in March after a presidential election year at the place selected by the District Chairman. The website for the 8th District Republican Congressional Committee is, www.in8gop.org.
The Indiana Republican State Committee
Republican County Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen in each congressional district elect District Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen. These officers, in turn, meet in Indianapolis as the State Committee and select a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer. The State Committee maintains a State Headquarters and employs a professional staff. The mailing address is 101 W Ohio Street, Suite 2200, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204. The website for the Republican State Committee is www.indiana.gop.
The National Republican Committee
he National Republican Committee is based in Washington, D.C. The web site for the national committee is www.rnc.org. Each state in the nation elects two national committeemen, one woman and one man to represent the state organization. The national committeemen are elected by the State Committee just prior to the State Convention in the years a National Convention is held. (The next state convention in Indiana will be held in June, 2020. A national convention will be held in the summer of 2020.)
The national committeemen select the national officers for the party; host the quadrennial national convention that nominates presidential and vice-presidential candidates; and, raise money to help elect Republican candidates at all levels.