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Weeks before general election, Democratic Congressional candidate Roger Day airs frustration with party

 Roger Day, candidate for Indiana’s 4th Congressional District, says he’s frustrated with the lack of support from the Democratic party (WBAA News/Ben Thorp)
Roger Day, candidate for Indiana’s 4th Congressional District, says he’s frustrated with the lack of support from the Democratic party (WBAA News/Ben Thorp)

Roughly one month before the general election, Roger Day – the Democratic candidate for Indiana’s 4th Congressional District – is airing frustrations with his party, saying that Indiana Democrats are being neglected.

Day says the party, both at the state and national level, has offered him no financial support in his race. He said that is especially frustrating when he reads about Democratic strategists spending millions to boost far-right Republicans across the country they hope will be less competitive.

“The national committee doesn’t help us here,” he said. “We could make Indiana a purple state. We’re not going to make it a blue state but we could make it a competitive state.”

Day isn’t the only Indiana Democrat to take issue with the funding practices of national Democrats. In August, former Democratic Congressman Tim Roemer signed an open letter denouncing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s purchase of TV ads for Republican election deniers.

“The DCCC should never be working on Trump’s side in Republican primaries,” Roemer wrote.

The state Democratic Party declined to comment for this story, but has previously stated that candidates are responsible for the bulk of fundraising around their own campaigns.

Indiana Democratic Party Chair Mike Schmuhl has also said the state party has reached out to the national party to try and get more support for competitive races - such as Tom McDermott’s U.S. Senate race. The national party has also provided support for Rep. Frank Mrvan’s (D) race to keep his seat in Indiana’s 1st Congressional District.

Day said it wouldn’t take much in the way of support to help him get a campaign off the ground. But he said using his own money means it’s just not possible.

“I’m retired, I’m living on a fixed income and savings and stuff like that,” he said. “I don’t have the kind of money… and that’s what it takes. But even if I had ten or fifteen thousand dollars, I could hire a company to help me raise money.”

According to Federal Election Commission filings, Day has raised zero dollars for his campaign. Republican Jim Baird is listed as having raised just under $300,000 thousand dollars. The next FEC filing date is Oct. 15.

Day said the national party putting money behind far-right Republicans is the same as giving up.

“It’s saying you gotta be a wingnut for us to beat you,” he said. “No, you don’t. You just have to be straight and honest and form an argument that says this is who we are and why we’re better than the alternative.”

Baird handily defeated Democratic opponents in 2020 and 2018, beating Joe Mackey nearly 2-1 in 2020 and Tobi Beck by roughly 30 points in 2018.

But Day said that with adequate support, he could defeat Baird.

“My opponent, Baird, he has a lot of money,” Day said. “...But if I had a debate with him, he would leave the auditorium crying.”