Congressional Candidate Bob Thomas Holds Town Hall In Avilla

By John W. Davis

June 18, 2010 Updated Apr 11, 2010 at 11:42 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) – Two Republican congressional candidates are entrenched in a public “war of words”, leading up to the May 4th primary election.

Third District Republican Congressional Candidate Bob Thomas met with dozens of people in the small town of Avilla Saturday morning.

The question and answer session, discussed some of the most pressing issues on the minds of people in Northeast Indiana.

“Pro-life is important to me and fiscal responsibility, and educational issues, and obviously health care is especially important to me,” said Carole Engquist, who drove up from Fort Wayne to spend Saturday morning getting to know Bob Thomas.

Most people know him as a local car dealer, but he also touts degrees from Princeton University and Harvard University.

Thomas’ hopes his next venture is Congress.

"This is where I should run. This is where my roots are. This is where our employees are,” said Bob Thomas, 3rd District Republican Congressional Candidate.

However, Thomas says he doesn't want to make a career out of politics.

He is seeking one or two terms, with a campaign strategy rooted in fiscal responsibility.

“I've been working an active business in Fort Wayne for 30 years. I know what it takes to cut expenses. We've been there. We've done that. It's not rocket science. You just have to have people that have the experience and who know how to add two plus two and come up with four,” said Thomas.

Meanwhile, incumbent Congressman Mark Souder publicly questions his challenger's credentials.

Souder says Thomas does not really live in Fort Wayne and is not in tune with the needs of people in Northeast Indiana.

“He wants to make this about where I live. I want to make it about the issues. About his record, about where we're going in the next five years,” said Thomas.

Thomas adds that Souder's bailout, national debt and General Motors votes, proves he is no longer the fiscally conservative Republican that he claims to be.

“We need to get some people that have some common sense and street smarts into Washington D. C. We need to get rid of the lawyers and rid of the career politicians. It's just that simple,” said Thomas.

“He has a good solid economics background and he seems to have good common sense about the way things should operate,” said Len Engquist, a potential Bob Thomas supporter.

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