Brad Ellsworth

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Brad Ellsworth
Brad Ellsworth, official 110th Congress photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 8th district
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by John Hostettler
Succeeded by Larry Bucshon
Sheriff of
Vanderburgh County, Indiana
In office
1999–2007
Succeeded by Eric Williams
Personal details
Born (1958-09-11) September 11, 1958 (age 55)
Jasper, Indiana
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Beth Ellsworth
Residence Evansville, Indiana
Alma mater University of Southern Indiana
Indiana State University.
Occupation law enforcement
Religion Roman Catholic

John Bradley "Brad" Ellsworth[1] (born September 11, 1958) is an American politician who was the U.S. Representative for Indiana's 8th congressional district from 2007 to 2011. In 2010, he was the Democratic candidate for a seat in the United States Senate, but he was defeated by Dan Coats, a former Senator, by 55% to 40%.

Early life and education[edit]

Ellsworth was born in Jasper, Indiana, the son of Margaret (née Scherle) and Jim Ellsworth.[2] He spent his early years in Huntingburg, Indiana. When he was still in grade school, his family moved to Evansville, where his father took a job as a crane operator in Warrick County's Alcoa plant. He is the youngest of four, his brothers Eric and Joe and his sister Lisa. His brother Eric is the president and CEO of the YMCA of greater Indianapolis.[3] His brother Joe is a founding partner and president of Fire & Rain Marketing/Communications headquartered in Evansville.[citation needed]

After graduation from William Henry Harrison High School in 1976, he attended Indiana State University-Evansville (now the University of Southern Indiana) where he received a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology, and became a member of Sigma Tau Gamma. Ellsworth worked in the paint and hardware department at Sears while in school to pay for his education. He later received a Masters Degree in Criminology from Indiana State University. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology also gave him an honorary doctorate of humane letters at their 2008 commencement.[4]

Law enforcement career[edit]

In 1982, Ellsworth began a career in the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Department.[citation needed] Over the next 23 years, he held every merit rank, and was twice decorated for heroism in the line of duty.[citation needed] While serving in the Department, Brad Ellsworth instituted the first Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program in the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation. He later attended and graduated from the FBI National Academy.[citation needed]

In 1998, Ellsworth ran for sheriff and won by a large margin.[citation needed]He was unopposed running for a second term.[citation needed] In 2005 he announced his intention to seek the Democratic Party's nomination for Indiana's 8th Congressional District, which was held by six-term incumbent John Hostettler.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Congressman Brad Ellsworth

Ellsworth is a conservative Democrat with a populist streak. He opposes abortion and gun control.[citation needed] Ellsworth also represented a socially conservative swath of Indiana. However, on economic issues, Ellsworth usually votes more with the Democratic party.[citation needed] After his election to Congress, he joined the Blue Dog Coalition.[citation needed]

Ellsworth voted against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in January of that year.[5] He voted for the final version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[6]

He was one of 16 Democrats who voted against providing federal funds for embryonic stem cell research.[7]

Ellsworth condemned the National Right to Life Committee for not supporting the extension of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover more families. While Ellsworth voted against an earlier version of the bill, he joined the other nine signatories in voting for the final bill.[8]

In November 2009, Ellsworth wrote an amendment restricting federal funding for elective abortions. Americans United for Life asserted that this language does not eliminate the public funding of abortion in the House bill, but instead only requires said federal subsidies to be separately disbursed by an independent contractor.[9] Ellsworth later voted for the Stupak Amendment. He eventually voted for the Senate language of the healthcare bill lacking the Stupak Amendment's anti-abortion language.[10]

In July 2007, Ellsworth designated $2 million to extend the John T. Myers lock chamber on the Ohio River and $750,000 for manufacturing and engineering equipment for the University of Southern Indiana.[citation needed] Two other projects Ellsworth brought to southwestern Indiana were the construction of a campus perimeter road system at USI for $350,000 and a portion of University Parkway construction also at $350,000.[citation needed]

Smaller projects for which Ellsworth gained House approval include $200,000 to restore Evansville's Alhambra Theater, $135,000 for emergency warning sirens in Vanderburgh County and $75,000 to train utility workers at Ivy Tech Community College.[11]

LGBT issues[edit]

In April 2009, Ellsworth voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.[12]

Committee assignments[edit]

Political campaigns[edit]

2006[edit]

Parade for Ellsworth

As of June 30, 2006, Hostettler had raised $287,000 and had $195,000 on hand, compared to Ellsworth's $1,036,000 raised and $676,000 on hand. However, Hostettler had won campaigns in the past against opponents with more funding. In addition, the National Republican Congressional Committee had spent $163,000 in his district as of mid-July 2006. (The DCCC, its counterpart, had spent $166,000 for Ellsworth as of that date.)[13][14]

The Cook Political Report, an independent non-partisan newsletter, listed the race as a toss-up as of mid-August.[15] As of early September, the Rothenberg Political Report called Hostettler one of the three most endangered House incumbents in the country; Chris Cillizza, political analyst for The Washington Post, ranked Hostettler as the most vulnerable House incumbent in the nation; and Robert D. Novak, a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report, also rated Hostettler's seat a likely win for Ellsworth.[16]

In mid-October, an opinion poll commissioned by the Evansville Courier & Press showed Ellsworth leading Hostettler, 55% to 32%.[17]

Hostettler debated Ellsworth on October 23, 2006. The debate was at public television station WVUT at Vincennes University, and involved the League of Women Voters.[18]

Ellsworth scored a landslide victory over Hostettler on November 7, 2006. He took 61% of the vote to Hostettler's 39% – by far the most lopsided defeat for an incumbent in the 2006 election.[3] Ellsworth's victory was the first of 30 seats that the Democrats took from the Republicans in the cycle.

2008[edit]

Two years later, on November 4, 2008, Ellsworth won reelection, easily defeating Republican candidate Greg Goode 65% to 35%.

2010 U.S. Senate campaign[edit]

On February 19, 2010, Ellsworth announced his candidacy in the 2010 U.S. Senate election for the seat in the United States Senate held by Democrat Evan Bayh, who was retiring.[19] Since Bayh made his announcement the day before the deadline for filing for the primary, no Democrat was able to gather a sufficient number of signatures to qualify for the primary ballot, forcing the Democratic state committee to choose the Senate nominee.[20][21] Ultimately, the committee chose Ellsworth.

He was defeated in the November election by Dan Coats, who had previously held the seat from 1989 to 1999, taking 40 percent of the vote. Ellsworth even lost his own congressional district; he only carried two counties in that district, Vigo (home to Terre Haute) and Vanderburgh.

Following his defeat, Ellsworth joined Evansville-based Vectren Corp. as president of its Indiana gas utility division.[22]

Electoral history[edit]

United States House of Representatives General Election, 2006
Indiana's 8th congressional district
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Brad Ellsworth 131,019 61.0%
Republican John Hostettler (incumbent) 83,704 39.0%
Turnout 214,723 46%
Democratic gain from Republican Swing
United States House of Representatives General Election, 2008
Indiana's 8th congressional district
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Brad Ellsworth (incumbent) 188,693 64.7% +3.7%
Republican Greg Goode 102,769 35.3%
Turnout 291,462 60%
Democratic hold Swing
United States Senate General election results, 2010
Indiana's Class III Senate Seat[23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Dan Coats 952,116 54.60% +17.37%
Democratic Brad Ellsworth 697,775 40.01% -21.64%
Libertarian Rebecca Sink-Burris 94,330 5.39% +4.27%
Majority 254,341 14.58%
Total votes 1,743,921 100%
Republican gain from Democratic Swing

Personal life[edit]

Ellsworth was voted the most beautiful person on Capitol Hill in 2007 by a survey conducted by publication The Hill.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2007 Financial Disclosure Statement". The Washington Post. 2007-05-07. 
  2. ^ Rothstein, Betsy (2007-08-01). "50 Most Beautiful fallout: Rep. Ellsworth’s mom questions her son’s placement on list". TheHill.com. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  3. ^ a b "Eric Ellsworth: Business People Information". 
  4. ^ "Rose-Hulman Class of 2008 Encouraged to Help Make a Difference". 24 May 2008. Retrieved 28 Octobel 2010. 
  5. ^ "Votes by Brad Ellsworth | Congressional votes database | washingtonpost.com". Projects.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  6. ^ http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll070.xml
  7. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 20". Office of the Clerk. U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
  8. ^ TheHill.com - Dems lash out at activist group on abortion issue
  9. ^ Americans United for Life: Rep. Ellsworth’s Proposal Does Not Prevent Abortion Funding in Health Care Reform. November 5, 2009. Retrieved November 7, 2009.
  10. ^ "NEWS/TALK 1010 WCSI Radio - WCSI Weather - Columbus Indiana". Wcsi.whiterivernews.com. 2010-03-22. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  11. ^ Langhorne, Thomas B., "Is pork Protecting Ellsworth?" Evansville Courier and Press, July 29. 2007.
  12. ^ [1]. Retrieved February 21,2014.
  13. ^ Thomas B. Langhorne, "Hostettler 'war chest' a little light, pundit says", Evansville Courier & Press, July 17, 2006
  14. ^ Maureen Groppe, "Indiana candidates raise big bucks for tight races: $1 million or more in war chest isn't unusual this competitive year, finance reports show", Indianapolis Star, July 18, 2006
  15. ^ Competitive Race Chart, Cook Political Report, August 16, 2006
  16. ^ Thomas B. Langhorne, "Hostettler inactivity curious", Evansville Courier & Press", September 3, 2006
  17. ^ Thomas B. Langhorne, "Ellsworth widens lead in poll: ISU questions likely voters in 8th District follow-up survey", Evansville Courier & Press", October 15, 2006
  18. ^ "Hostettler agrees to debate date", Evansville Courier & Press", August 30, 2006
  19. ^ Trygstad, Kyle (2010-02-19). "Politics Nation - It's Official: Ellsworth Enters Indiana Senate Race". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  20. ^ Cillizza, Chris (February 15, 2010). "Evan Bayh won't seek re-election, Senate majority in play?". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  21. ^ Martin, Jonathan (February 15, 2010). "Challenger adds to post-Bayh chaos". Politico. 
  22. ^ "Vectren picks Ellsworth as division president". Indianapolis Star. 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  23. ^ Secretary of State : Elections Division: Election Foundation Wide
  24. ^ Rothstein, Betsy (08/01/07). "50 Most Beautiful fallout: Rep. Ellsworth’s mom questions her son’s placement on list". The Hill. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Hostettler
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 8th congressional district

2007-2011
Succeeded by
Larry Bucshon
Party political offices
Preceded by
Evan Bayh
Democratic Party nominee for United States Senator from Indiana
(Class 3)

2010
Succeeded by
Current