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Challenger to state Rep. Bob Morris runs on moderation

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - 1:58 pm

Eight months after Republican state Rep. Bob Morris drew fire with his claim that the Girl Scouts promote sex and abortion, his challenger hopes to win on a moderate approach.

Morris and Democrat Lafayette “Lee” Jordan, vying to represent Indiana House District 84, which covers northeast Allen County, both say they would focus on education and the economy at the Statehouse.

But Jordan, a small-business man and retiree from the Northern Indiana Public Service Co., also said in an interview that he would fight for bipartisan solutions in the legislature – a quality that he believes has been lacking among lawmakers.

“We need common people to bring a new thought process to lawmaking,” Jordan said. “What I bring to the table is common sense. What I bring to the table is compromise, working together with people.”

Jordan said he believes voters see a lack of respect between politicians that gets in the way of real work – and observation he has repeated frequently since Morris refused to sign a resolution honoring the Girl Scouts on their 100th anniversary earlier this year.

Morris, who runs the local chain of Health Kick Nutrition stores, said his 14 years in small business gives him the experience to keep serving the district. He brushed aside discussion of his Girl Scout remarks, saying he remains focused on jobs and schools.

“My job is to focus on jobs, focus on my constituents and quality education,” Morris said.

Morris said his priorities would include building stronger relationships between IPFW, Indiana Tech and local employers such as BF Goodrich to make sure skilled college graduates stay in northeast Indiana.

He also said he would like to expand warranties between the state and contractors who do highway work to ensure the best deals, and that he would be open to looking at the state budget to see if any funding can be restored to public schools.

Jordan said state lawmakers must find sensible ways to fund preschools, reduce the number of inmates – especially the elderly – in state prisons and get as many Hoosiers as possible off the welfare rolls.