Republican candidate for House District 26 argues West Lafayette “doesn’t have a voice” at the Statehouse
A Republican running for House District 26 argues a Republican supermajority at the Statehouse means the region doesn’t have a voice - and should therefore elect him.
House District 26 is currently occupied by Rep. Chris Campbell (D-West Lafayette). Campbell has held the seat since 2018 and ran unopposed by Republicans in 2020.
Just weeks before the general election filing deadline, local Republicans nominated Fred Duttlinger to challenge Campbell in November.
Duttlinger, currently the assistant director of civics literacy at Purdue University, said when District 26 was redrawn last year the new map included his house.
“We were in with Representative Negele, and we got moved because District 26 expanded out its geographic footprint a lot,” he said. “Looking at it, looked at the current representative and the political landscape, and as of right now our district doesn’t have a voice down at the Statehouse at all. West Lafayette and the greater district itself is one of the shining stars in the state of Indiana, and I wanted it to have a voice down at the Statehouse.”
Duttlinger said that with a Republican supermajority in both the House and Senate – and a Republican governorship – Democratic representation effectively means constituents don’t have a voice.
“Democrats don’t have any pull or sway down at the Statehouse,” he said.
Duttlinger said issues of importance to him include supporting education, mental health initiatives, and maintaining local governmental control.
“We want to make sure we maintain our local control and West Lafayette doesn’t get meddled in by the state,” he said.
When asked about Duttlinger’s candidacy, Campbell said in a statement that for democracy to work, “we need choices.”
When asked about Duttlinger’s comment that Democrats in the legislature currently have no influence, she added: “Republicans are asking us to give up on our values for expediency… we won’t trade our future to play short-term politics.”