GOP gets Young, Bucshon for top Indiana targets

Attorney Todd Young and Dr. Larry Bucshon will be the GOP nominees in a pair of top pickup opportunities in southern Indiana.

Young defeated a field that included former Rep. Mike Sodrel (R-Ind.) to win the nod to face Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.), while Bucshon survived a scare from a Tea Party candidate an will be the party’s candidate in Rep. Brad Ellsworth’s (R-Ind.) district.

Buschon led 33-29 with 94 percent of precincts, while Young led activist Travis Hankins 34-32 with 99 percent of precincts reporting. Sodrel was third, with 31 percent.

In a cycle that features many former members of Congress running for their old seats, Sodrel was the first to actually face voters.

Sodrel and Young were both part of the NRCC’s Young Guns program for top challengers, but party leaders will be happy to turn the page on Sodrel. In four straight races against Hill, he has lost three times, including by 20 points in 2008.

Bucshon was the only candidate in his district to be part of the Young Guns program. He will face state Rep. Trent Van Haaften, who was unopposed on the Democratic side. Ellsworth is running for Senate.

Both races are widely considered to be toss-ups.