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Three dozen or more local Democrats jammed into a room designed to hold less than half that many on Wednesday to greet a trio of candidates seeking statewide and national office.
With less than a week remaining until the November 6 general election balloting, Decatur got a visit on Wednesday from U.S. Senate candidate Joe Donnelly, gubernatorial hopeful John Gregg and his running mate, State Sen. Vi Simpson, D-Ellettsville.
The Democrat candidates met briefly with constituents, each speaking for less than two minutes, at West End Restaurant as part of a whirlwind tour in their respective campaigns' final week.
The theme delivered by each of the political hopefuls was similar: The importance of preventing Indiana from coming under the control of Tea Party-backed hopefuls like GOP gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence and Senate hopeful Richard Mourdock.
"We need your help," said Gregg. "Talk to your friends and neighbors, and talk to those Lugar Republicans who feel their party has been taken over by the Pence-Mourdock extremists."
"This election," echoed Simpson, "is about halting the Tea Party revolution."
Adams County Democratic Party chairman Barb Engle thanked party faithful in attendance for their support, and urged each to carry the party banner forward.
"This election is extremely important," said Engle. "We've got to get Democrats elected or we're going down the tubes."
Donnelly currently serves as the U.S. Representative for Indiana's 2nd Congressional District, a position he has held since 2007. The 2nd Congressional District is located in north-central Indiana and takes in the Indiana portion of the Michiana region, including South Bend and Elkhart.
One of the most conservative Democrats on Capitol Hill, Donnelly resides in Granger.
Gregg was a state representative in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1986–2002. He served as Speaker of the Indiana House from 1996–2002 and Majority Leader from 1990–1994.
After leaving office, he served for two years as interim President of Vincennes University.
He was born and raised in the town of Sandborn in southwest Indiana and still resides there.