Close race for District 84

Incumbent Bob Morris (left) and challenger Michael Barranda.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – One of the closest races of the May Primary was the race for the Republican seat for the State Representative for the 84th District which includes most of St. Joseph Township. The incumbent, Bob Morris, was trailing for most of Tuesday evening but did make a late surge to hold off challenger Michael Barranda. Morris, who’s held the seat since 2010, only won by a mere 250 votes.

“My opponent put up a great race, and I look forward to continue serving my people in the 84th District,” Morris said after learning of his victory Tuesday night.

Barranda said he knocked on 4,000 doors and was pleased with the race he ran. He said he had a positive message although he faced challenges such as the significant money raised by Morris who gained endorsements from the Governor and Congressman Marlin Stutzman.

“We had 3,500 people plus turnout and vote in a primary for a challenger,” Barranda said.

Barranda believes one of the reasons the race was tight was because of controversial comments Morris made about the Girl Scouts, calling the organization radical and promoting of homosexual lifestyles which put him at the center of national public scrutiny. However, it’s a statement Morris stands by.

“I will never compromise my principles,” Morris said.

Going forward Morris said he wants to get more funding for the National Guard and to improve the economy by bringing more jobs to the Hoosier state. However, Barranda hopes the close race will push Morris to make some changes.

“We want more, he said. “We expect more from our representatives, and I think we’ve challenged Representative Morris to do that.”

Morris will run against Democrat Fred Haigh during the November election.

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