Political Notebook

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Stutzman to shut Goshen office

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, plans to close his district office in Goshen on Feb. 29.

Tim Harris, chief of staff for Stutzman, said in a news release that the closing is part of a 6 percent cut in congressional office budgets for which Stutzman voted.

“In this economy, Hoosiers are making priorities in their own budgets. So did Mr. Stutzman when he chose to prioritize constituent services over building expenses,” Harris said.

According to his most recent House disbursements report, Stutzman’s office paid more than $80,800 in rent, communication services and utilities during the first nine months of 2011. Stutzman has district offices in Fort Wayne, Kendallville, Winona Lake and Goshen.

For comparison’s sake, Indiana’s other freshmen congressmen – Reps. Todd Rokita, R-4th; Larry Bucshon, R-8th; and Todd Young, R-9th – paid between $32,700 and $50,200 in rent, communication services and utilities. None had more than three district offices.

Stutzman’s Goshen office would have been closed regardless by yearend. Because of redistricting, Elkhart County residents will vote in the 2nd District primary and general elections, and then join the district for the next 10 years for representation and elections.

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