Political Notebook

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Gospel music promoter seeks Pence's seat

A former staffer for Rep. Mike Pence, R-6th, hopes to replace him.

Gospel music promoter Andrew Phipps of Muncie announced Monday he will seek the 2012 Republican nomination for the congressional seat Pence is leaving to run for governor next year.

Phipps was community relations director for Pence in 2001, Pence's first year in the House.

At least five other Republicans have announced their candidacies for the 6th District seat. Former state lawmaker Luke Messer of Shelbyville has raised by far the most money in campaign contributions, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. At least three people have indicated they might seek the Democratic nomination.

In a news release, Phipps called Congress "a pitiful mess" because of special-interest money and incumbents who "turn down term limits; feather their nests; homestead close to the Potomac and then accept the status quo, unwilling to do what ought to be done."

He said Christian values can become the "underpinning" for better public policy.

"The socialistic, secular approach that replaces capitalism with a 'nanny state' and in the process destroys our traditional values will become a reality unless something is done very quickly," he said.

Phipps taught social studies for 33 years, mostly at Southside High School in Muncie. He is founder and host of the Phipps Gospel Sing on radio and television.

Adams, Wells and southern Allen County are in the 6th District but will join the 3rd District for next year's primary and general elections, thanks to new boundaries drawn by the state legislature. The 6th District will add counties in southeast Indiana.

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