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Indiana House District 81
Alexander Avery (L)
Martin Carbaugh (R)
•Win Moses (D)

Moses best bet for redrawn 81st

Newly drawn legislative maps gave Indiana House District 81 a significant makeover, but Rep. Win Moses, with decades of public service to his credit, continues to be the best choice for Fort Wayne voters. He deserves re-election to an 11th term.

Moses’ vigilance over energy legislation and dogged determination to protect utility consumers makes him an invaluable representative not just for his constituents but for all Hoosiers. In the last session alone, he authored four utility-related bills, including one that called for common-sense regulations over hydraulic fracturing – the controversial process of using pressurized fluids to extract natural gas, petroleum and other substances.

Republican leadership didn’t allow his bills to advance, but Moses’ watchdog services are sorely needed in a policy area marked by the Duke Energy scandal and troubling questions over the state’s coal gasification deal with Leucadia National Corp.

While acknowledging it lasted too long, Moses ably defends the 2011 House Democratic caucus’ 35-day walkout over the contentious right-to-work bill and other issues. “I walked out to protect the citizens of my district,” he said. “I don’t believe right to work will create high-wage jobs for us.”

He noted that Republicans did not raise the right-to-work issue during the 2010 election and that constituents were caught off guard. He said Democrats needed to accentuate differences in the parties’ approaches to job creation.

“The worrisome direction we’re moving requires watching. The jobs we’re attracting are not at all high-wage jobs,” said Moses, who served as mayor when the General Motors truck plant came to town.

His Republican challenger, Martin Carbaugh, is a financial representative and precinct committeeman. In response to a written questionnaire, Carbaugh cited government spending as a top issue facing the state. He did not meet with The Journal Gazette editorial board.

Libertarian Alexander Avery also is a candidate.

Redistricting moved Democratic-leaning precincts out of Moses’ district to give an edge to the GOP candidate. Boundaries of the newly drawn District 81 are moved northward, to include all of Washington Township and the northern portion of Wayne Township, including the north side of the downtown district and southwestern swath of the city to Engle Road.