Shelli Yoder

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Shelli Yoder
Member of the
Monroe County, Indiana County Council
from the 1st district
Assumed office
January 26, 2013
Succeeded by Vic Kelson
Personal details
Born (1968-08-30) August 30, 1968 (age 46)
Shipshewana, Indiana
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Josh Perry
Children Three
Residence Bloomington, Indiana
Alma mater Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (B.A.)
Vanderbilt University (M. Div)
Occupation Non-profit business management

University faculty

Website Shelli Yoder for Congress

Shelli Renee Yoder (born August 30, 1968)[1] is an American business manager, educator and politician. A former Miss Indiana titleholder and Miss America 1993 contestant, Yoder has worked as a director of many non-profit organizations. She was the Democratic Party nominee for the United States House of Representatives in Indiana's 9th congressional district in the 2012 race and is currently a member of the County Council for Monroe County, Indiana.


Yoder is a native of Shipshewana, Indiana. She studied interpersonal communication at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne.[2] She later graduated from Indiana University South Bend with a Masters degree in Counseling & Human Services and from Vanderbilt University Divinity School in 2002 with a Masters degree in Divinity.[3]

Yoder won the Miss Indiana pageant in 1992 and finished as second runner-up in the Miss America pageant later that year.[4] While competing in beauty pageants, she developed anorexia nervosa.[5] She moved to Tennessee, where she served as the Assistant Director of GirlForce, an advocacy group bringing awareness to the issue of anorexia,[6] and worked as the Executive Director of the Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee.[7][8]

Yoder married Josh Perry, a professor at Indiana University Bloomington. She is also a visiting lecturer at the Kelley School of Business.[9] They have three children and live in Bloomington, Indiana.

2012 Congressional campaign[edit]

In February 2012, Yoder entered the race for Indiana's 9th congressional district. In a crowded primary field of five candidates, Yoder clinched the nomination with 47% of the primary vote in May.[9][10] During the primary, Yoder emphasized job creation, worker training, funding for health research, and investment in infrastructure and clean energy.[11][12] Yoder credited her success to a grass-roots campaign and vowed to take on big money and special interest and be a voice for working families.[13] Former Governor Howard Dean has used his political action committee to support Yoder, stating that Yoder's race is a key one for Democrats in 2012. This group of candidates in key races is referred to as the Dean Dozen.[14]

In the general election campaign, she has challenged Republican Representative Todd Young to thirteen town hall debates in each of the district's counties, noting that Young had challenged then-Congressman Baron Hill to numerous debates in 2010.[15][16] She has also criticized Young's association with controversial Congressman Todd Akin and their co-sponsoring of No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which originally included the term "forcible rape"; however the word "forcible" was later removed from the bill, and Young did distance himself from Akin's remarks.[17]

Young defeated Yoder in the election, receiving 55% of the vote to Yoder's 45%.[18]

Indiana's 9th Congressional District election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Todd Young 165,332 55.45
Democratic Shelli Yoder 132,848 44.55
Total votes 298,180 100.00

County Council[edit]

Following her Congressional campaign, Yoder was selected to fill the remainder of Vic Kelson's term on the Monroe County Council by a special caucus of the Monroe County Democratic Party.[19]


  1. ^ "Shelli Renee Yoder - Indiana - Campaign 2012, Bio, News, Photos". Washington Times. 2012-05-31. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  2. ^ The Madison Courier - Google News Archive Search
  3. ^ Yoder, Shelli. "Pursuing a Crown of Perfection: A Journey from Atlantic City to Vanderbilt University Divinity School" (PDF). Vanderbilt Magazine (Fall 2003). Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  4. ^ Joseph, Monica (2012-01-07). "Shipshewana’s Shelli Yoder nearly won prestigious crown 20 years ago » Local News » Goshen News, Goshen, IN". Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  5. ^ Mullinix, DONNA S. (August 29, 1993). "Hoosier beauty queen, recalling bouts with anorexia nervosa, admits she was. . .STARVING INSIDE". Indianapolis Star. p. H.1. Retrieved September 4, 2012.  (subscription required)
  6. ^ Sherborne, Pam (2004-05-07). "GirlForce aims to empower girls to make healthy choices". The Tennessean. p. M.2. Retrieved 2012-09-04.  (subscription required)
  7. ^ Donahoe, Heather (2007-08-22). "Eating disorders clinic opens here". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2012-09-04.  (subscription required)
  8. ^ Waddle, Ray (2008-02-09). "Want something to give up during Lent? Stop self-loathing". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2012-09-04.  (subscription required)
  9. ^ a b "Shelli Yoder wins Democratic nod to take on Todd Young for the Indiana 9th District seat: GOP's Young seen as heavy favorite in fall". Louisville Courier Journal. May 8, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Shelli Yoder wins Dem. Ind. House District 9". WHAS 11 News. May 8, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Final Votes Counted in 9th District Primary". May 19, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Yoder embraces Underdog Role". WHAS 11 News. May 10, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Former Miss Indiana Shelli Yoder wins Democratic nomination for Congress". May 10, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Howard Dean's PAC Gets Behind Yoder’s Uphill Battle". WFPL. August 8, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Yoder: Young Stalling On Debate Challenge". Louisville Courier Journal. August 1, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Indiana congressional hopeful Shelli Yoder challenges Rep. Todd Young to 13 debates". WFPL. August 28, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Yoder Presses Young Over Akin 'Legitimate Rape' Comments". WFPL. August 24, 2012. 
  18. ^ Wray, Jessica (November 6, 2012). "U.S. Rep. Todd Young defeats Shelli Yoder in Indiana's 9th District". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  19. ^

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Baron Hill
Democratic nominee for Indiana's 9th congressional district
Succeeded by