Puckett wins; Zirkle gets thousands of votes

It will be interesting to see how many thousands of Democratic voters chose not to cast vote for incumbent Rep. Joe Donnelly who ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Certainly, some of this “under vote” can be attributed to Limbaugh’s “Operation:Chaos” that had Republicans voting in the Democratic Primary for Hillary Clinton in order to prolong the Dems’ nomination process and, at least theoretically, damage the party’s chances of winning the White House in November.

However, it is reasonable to consider the possibility that many Democratic voters just couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Donnelly who has disappointed so many with his voting record that has undermined his party’s ability to move forward with vital legislative action on issues ranging from the War in Iraq to comprehensive immigration reform.

-DW

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(The following comes from the South Bend Tribune)

Puckett to face Donnelly in November
GOP nominee criticizes incumbent during acceptance speech

By ED RONCO
Tribune Staff Writer

This story was originally posted at 10:11 p.m. on May 6, 2008.
SOUTH BEND — Luke Puckett will try to unseat U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly in the fall after sailing to an easy victory in Tuesday’s Republican Congressional primary.

With 83 percent of precincts reporting, Puckett had secured 48 percent of the vote. Culver resident Joseph Roush earned 36 percent of the Republican vote, and South Bend attorney Tony Zirkle brought in 16 percent.

Puckett focused on Donnelly, D-Granger, during both his campaign and his acceptance speech Tuesday night, criticizing the first-term congressman and the Washington establishment.

“What our current leadership in Washington lacks is the vision, the courage and the leadership to demand common-sense solutions to the challenges facing us today,” said Puckett, a Goshen businessman.

He focused a large portion of his remarks on Donnelly’s efforts to lower the price of gasoline.

Donnelly has called on the Bush administration to release 20 million barrels of oil from the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Puckett calls it “a one-day solution,” but Donnelly said Puckett isn’t focusing only on the release of 20 million barrels from the reserve.

Donnelly is co-sponsor of a bill that would stop the purchase of oil for the reserve, which would increase the supply on the market, he says. He’s also calling on the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on price gouging at gas stations.

“There’s short-term things we can work on and long-term things we can work on,” Donnelly said by phone from his Washington, D.C., office Tuesday night. “Apparently Mr. Puckett forgot to mention those things.”

South Bend attorney Tony Zirkle issued a concession statement on his Web site, saying he had trouble getting his message out but now he can enjoy his summer.

It included links to videos on the Web site YouTube, including one of Elvis Presley singing “The Impossible Dream” from the musical “Man of La Mancha.”

Joseph Roush could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday night.

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