State candidates stop in Putnam County Monday

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Two state officials and one hopeful on a bus tour of Indiana stopped in Greencastle this week to seek support from voters who will head to polls next Tuesday.

Current Secretary of State Todd Rokita, state Treasurer Tim Berry and state treasurer candidate Richard Mourdock, all Republicans, addressed a group of supporters on the steps of the Putnam County Courthouse Monday morning.

Rokita, 35, is said by his campaign to be the second youngest secretary of state in the country. He was elected to the state's third highest office in 2002 and is seeking re-election.

Berry was elected Indiana's 51st state treasurer in 1998 and was re-elected in 2002. This year he is seeking election to the state auditor's position.

Mourdock, self-employed as a private consultant in the environmental and energy business, is seeking to replace Berry as state treasurer. He was elected as Vanderburgh County Commissioner in 1994 and 1998.

Running against the three Republicans include Joe Pearson, Democratic hopeful for secretary of state, Judy Anderson, Democrat seeking state auditor, and Michael W. Griffin, Democrat for state treasurer. They were not in Greencastle on Monday.

On Monday, Rokita touted his efforts to reform Indiana's elections, including requiring voters to present a photo I.D. at the polls and employing new voting machines that improve the way votes are tallied.

According to his campaign, Rokita has also worked to uncover investor fraud across the state, securing numerous felony convictions and recovering thousands of dollars in restitution.

Berry, who identifies himself as a "fiscal conservative," said he has invested taxpayer dollars to the tune of $1.3 billion in investment income since he took office. He served as 2004 president of the National Association of State Treasurers and currently is chair of the College Savings Plan Network.

According to information provided by Berry's campaign, his efforts on the Wireless Enhanced 911 Advisory Board have helped bring more than $55 million to counties across Indiana, allowing them to upgrade their systems to receive wireless 911 calls.

Mourdock, principal, R.E. Mourdock and Associates, has served as president of Koester Mining Inc. and Koester Services Inc., was vice president of Vigo Coal Company Inc. and trustee of Koester Companies Inc.

He was senior geologist for Standard Oil Company from 1979-84 and field geologist for AMAX Coal Company from 1975-79.

Democrat Joe Pearson worked 10 years as assistant commissioner of agriculture for Indiana.

Judy Anderson, a Democrat from Terre Haute, served on her township board and worked on budgets for 12 years. She was also on the county council and served as county commissioner.

Michael Griffin is a certified public finance administrator and holds both a bachelor's and a master's degree from Indiana University.

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