Indiana's 7th congressional district special election, 2008

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Indiana's 7th congressional district special election of 2008 took place March 11, 2008 to fill the seat in the United States House of Representatives left vacant by the death of 7th district representative Julia Carson (D) on December 15, 2007. The election determined who would fill the vacancy for the rest of the 110th United States Congress. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels set the date for the special election.[1] Both political parties had previously agreed to this date.[2] Democrat André Carson won the election with an 18.17% voter turnout.[3]


On January 11, the Democratic caucus chose André Carson to run in the March 11 special election.[4] On January 12, the Republicans chose Jon Elrod as their candidate[5][6] and the Libertarian caucus nominated Sean Shepard.[7]



  • Sean Shepard[10] - Small business owner



Indiana 7th district map

The district, which covers most of Marion County, is considered difficult for Republicans. It includes most of what was the city of Indianapolis before the creation of Unigov in 1970, and includes most of the more Democratic areas of the county. John Kerry won the 7th district in 2004 with 58%, but after the November 2007 upset of Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson by Republican Greg Ballard, the race was assumed to be competitive. However, in the precincts of the 7th District Democrat Bart Peterson still received 54% of the votes.


Indiana 7th District House of Representatives special election, 2008[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic André Carson 45,634 54.0%
Republican Jon Elrod 36,399 43.0%
Libertarian Sean Shepard 2,426 2.9%
No party Write-ins 47 0.1%
Turnout 84,506 18.2%
Democratic hold Swing

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Executive Order 08-01 Archived February 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Mitch Daniels. January 7, 2008.
  2. ^ Special election confuses candidates Brendan O'Shaughnessy January 6, 2008. The Indianapolis Star
  3. ^ Carson wins seat in 7th District race; Official results Archived March 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Andre Carson is Democratic nominee for 7th Congressional seat WISH-TV, January 12, 2008.
  5. ^ 7th District race getting crowded Kevin Rader. January 9, 2008.
  6. ^ a b Republicans chose State Representative for 7th Congressional seat January 13, 2008. WISH-TV
  7. ^ The Green Papers: Indiana 2008 General Election Green Papers, January 21, 2008.
  8. ^ a b c Race for seat could divide Dems Brendan O'Shaughnessy. December 16, 2007. The Indianapolis Star.
  9. ^ Peterson won't seek Carson's House seat Brendan O'Shaughnessy. December 20, 2007. The Indianapolis Star.
  10. ^ LPIN selects Sean Shepard for District 7 Congressional special election
  11. ^ 4 Republicans enter race to replace Carson Dan McFeely January 11, 2008. The Indianapolis Star
  12. ^ "7th District, Special Election". Marion County Clerk. March 11, 2008. Archived from the original on March 15, 2008. Retrieved March 11, 2008.