INDIANAPOLIS – IN Focus is continuing to spotlight key races for Congress ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. One of the most watched races is the massive Republican primary in the 9th district to replace Rep. Trey Hollingsworth.

This week we’re speaking with Republican candidates Stu Barnes-Israel and Jim Baker. They’ll be hoping to stand out among a crowded field, which includes former state senator Erin Houchin and former 9th district Congressman Mike Sodrel. Both of them sat down with IN Focus to speak on their campaigns.

Barnes-Israel hopes to draw from his experience in combat. He says that despite his lack of political experience, he will deliver “real solutions” for Hoosier families in the 9th district.

“When I’m travelling the district every single day, talking to Hoosiers about the issues facing them in Southern Indiana, they tell me they want a fighter and they want someone who can actually get things done,” Barnes-Israel said.”

Barnes-Israel recently received the endorsement of Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK), a fellow combat veteran. In a statement, Sen. Cotton explained that the candidate can be a strong Republican voice.

“With the critical issues Americans face today, we need strong conservative voices in Washington,” Sen. Cotton said. “Stu is the right candidate to help restore order after the chaos created by liberal elites.”

Speaking on those solutions, Barnes-Israel wants to see more done at the federal level on illegal immigration at the southern border. He’s also calling for more action on the nation’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

“We need to fix our economy, we need to secure our border, and we need to reduce crime in our communities,” Barnes-Israel said. “These are the issues facing our families every single day.”

Jim Baker made a similar appeal to his lack of experience. Even though this is his first time running for public office, Baker says he’s gotten to know the 9th district very well from working in commercial real estate. Speaking on the nation’s economy, Baker feels that he bring a unique business voice to Congress from his experience in development. As a native of southern Indiana, he also wants to focus on the next generation.

“This is not about me, this is about the people that are going to follow us,” Baker said.

Baker went on to say that he wants to bring “experience, wisdom, and a seriousness” that currently isn’t found on Capitol Hill.

Watch more from our interviews with candidates Stu Barnes-Israel and Jim Baker in the video above.