Where Indiana Senate candidates stand on abortion, the economy and other issues

Where Indiana Senate candidates stand on abortion, the economy and other issues

In Indiana, Republican Sen. Todd Young is working to defend his seat against challengers Democrat Thomas McDermott Jr. and Libertarian James Sceniak on the November ballot.

So far, Young is seen as the frontrunner as a well-known fundraiser with more name recognition, but both McDermott and Young have ads on TV as of this week.

IndyStar asked each candidate to fill out a questionnaire explaining their stance on key issues, from abortion to marijuana legalization. Here’s where candidates stand on the issues, in 100 words or less, edited only for length and lightly for grammar.

Meet Sen. Todd Young Young attempts to focus on bills rather than talk show soundbites

Meet Thomas McDermott Indiana Democrat running for U.S. Senate compared to Donald Trump

Meet James SceniakLibertarian Sceniak plays the long game


Question: Should Congress pass any laws either restricting abortions or codifying abortion-rights into federal law? If so, what provisions should those laws contain?

Sceniak: I consider myself personally pro-life, but banning and criminalizing does not work. Abortions will still be performed and often with greater risk, thus losing more lives. Our end goal should always be to preserve life. This can only be done by increasing society’s support for life. My plan for reducing abortions involves supporting adoption through substantial tax breaks and continuing to subsidize the cost of adoption, supporting foster care, ensuring every individual has the opportunity and freedom to pursue happiness by ensuring we fight inflation and waste, and to ensure we educate young men and women in safe sex practices.

Inflation and gas prices

Q; Should Congress address inflation or rising gas prices, and if so, how?

Sceniak: Inflation is a monetary phenomenon and is caused by the rising money supply. The money supply doubled from 2020 to 2021, putting too many dollars in circulation at the same time there were supply shortages. What Congress can do to reduce inflation is reduce wasteful spending, which means less borrowing, resulting in less pressure to increase the money supply. As far as addressing rising gas prices, Congress should encourage more drilling and more refining capacity to increase the supply of oil and repeal laws like the Jones Act that make it difficult to transport oil across the country.

Gun violence and gun control

Q: Congress passed a gun reform law this summer. What else, if anything, should be done to limit mass shootings? 

Sceniak: “Shall not be infringed” is self-explanatory. I will always support the civil rights of people to defend their family, person and property. Creating better access to mental health resources should be a starting point. The more we take care of our neighbors through these services the more we will address the heart of these issues. When we create a culture of mentally healthy and happy individuals, who have a future to look forward to, violence will decrease including those violent acts that are not committed with a gun.


Q: Are there any federal election reforms, such as those updating the 1887 Electoral Count Act, that you would support?

Sceniak: Election security and reforms are essential for civil conversations and politics to take place. Election security is extremely important. We need to ensure that every vote counts and we have confidence in our electoral system. The Constitution leaves the electoral process to each state, and election reforms should happen at the state level. At the federal level, the top priority is to ensure that states practice equality within their voting laws, ensuring that all voices are heard through the democratic practice of elections.

Jan. 6 committee

Q: Is the House Jan. 6 committee necessary to investigate what happened on Jan. 6, 2020?

Sceniak: No one person is above the law. If a crime is thought to be committed, it should go through the proper channels of investigation. House committees can be part of this process. We should hold government officials to high standards as well as investigate what broke down with security. In addition to those issues, we should also investigate why so many Americans did not believe their voice was heard through the election process. My caution is that in investigating we do this to seek justice and not simply to gain political momentum.

Same-sex marriage

Q: Should protections for same-sex and interracial marriages be enshrined in federal law?

Sceniak: I am proud to stand with all Hoosiers and their families. Interracial marriage and same-sex marriage is part of the unique cultural diversity in Indiana as well as throughout all of America. Ideally the government should not regulate marriage and love through licensing, but because it does, we must seek laws that protect all marriages. Discriminatory practices against interracial marriage and same-sex marriage should not be tolerated by states nor federal law. I stand with the Libertarian party that recognized this from their inception in 1971, before either of the other parties. Love is love.

Immigration reform

Q; Are there any immigration reforms you think Congress should pursue?

Sceniak: Immigration is a top priority. We are a nation of immigrants and a melting pot of unique cultural diversity. Just as a castle has a moat, we need to protect our nation with a vetting process. Our drawbridge should be wide and welcoming, allowing for any peaceful person who seeks freedom and prosperity to come to America. As a senator, I will promote and vote with policies that allow for those who want to live, work, and contribute to our society and economy to have access through work visas and accept refugees from oppressive regimes like Venezuela.

Student loan debt

Q: Do you agree with President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, and do you support any other initiatives to either reduce the cost of college or decrease student loan debt?

Sceniak: The president’s student loan forgiveness is a transfer of wealth from taxpayers to a specific group of people — college graduates. I believe, due to financial institutions and federal policies, that many students were extorted into debt that is difficult to pay down. Some relief, such as forgiving the interest due on that debt, is a good policy. With a nation that is $31 trillion in debt we are not in a position to forgive all college debt without bringing substantial harm to future generations and their economic opportunities.


Q: Biden recently announced that he has directed his administration to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law. Do you support the federal decriminalization of marijuana?

Sceniak: Yes. Cannabis usage and possession has no victim, therefore it should not be a crime. The drug war has wasted countless taxpayer resources. Cannabis laws have often been over enforced in minority communities while ignored in others causing further discrimination to these families. Instead, we should treat drug abuse as a medical issue, which would allow those who have addictions to get the help they need rather than fearing they’ll be sent to a jail cell. Prohibition did not work with alcohol and we see the same result with cannabis.

~ By Kaitlin Lange | Reporter | Published October 13, 2022 To read the full article visit The Indy Star