Indiana’s 81st District incumbent releases TV ad early

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) –  Republican state Representative Martin Carbaugh, incumbent in Indiana’s 81st District, started running a 30 second ad this week for November’s upcoming election.

The ad has Carbaugh in it talking about fixing the school funding formula and creating jobs in Fort Wayne.

Andy Downs, with Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, said even though this ad might be out a little early, there are a couple reasons why it could be out sooner than expected. One reason he explains is that Carbaugh wants to get his ad out before the TV market becomes saturated with other races’ ads closer to the election. Another reason could be due to the history of the district.

“This was a district that was held by a Democrat for a long time. And he won it from an incumbent Democrat two years ago,” Downs said. “It’s a district because of redistricting; it swung a little more Republican than it used to be.”

Democrats know the significance of this district as well. Democratic challenger, Thad Gerardot, will be running against Carbaugh in November’s election.

Gerardot does not have an ad out, but tells NewsChannel 15 he’s running a more grassroots campaign by knocking on doors and sending out letters. Downs said Carbaugh knows he’s going up against Gerardot in November and could also mean he’s taking his reelection seriously.

“If he wants to make sure he holds on to it, he’s always going to be conscious of wanting to run a real campaign,” Downs said.

Downs said this election will set the tone as to what kind of District 81 will be.

“We do have to wait until after the election to know if this is now a real safe Republican seat or a swing district,” he said.

NewsChannel 15 did reach out to Carbaugh to get his comment on the ad, but he was unavailable for immediate comment.

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