There’s a socialist running for a seat in the Indiana General Assembly and his name will be on the ballot in Hamilton County. John Strinka is a warehouse worker who collected more than 450 petition signatures, enough to get his name on the November ballot.
As he delivered them to the state election division wearing his Socialist Party t-shirt, co-director Brad King said he’s the first socialist candidate to qualify for the ballot in Indiana since the early ’80’s. “I think it’s a victory for American democracy,” says Strinka.
Strinka hopes to unseat Republican state Representative Jerry Torr, an unlikely goal, but he has others, too. “And I want people to see what Socialists stand for and primarily, the simplest way I can put it to you,” he said, “is that prosperity should be for everybody, not just a few and that’s what we’re working for.”
“I’m fairly confident that voters in Carmel are going to choose capitalism over socialism,” says Torr, who is unconcerned but also not surprised. He was the author of the controversial right to work bill and it’s a motivating factor for Strinka. “You can do nothing in the Statehouse and stay popular and win elections,” says Torr. “If you’re gonna do bold things you’re always gonna tick somebody off.”
Strinka thinks he can win, but even he admits that Carmel, the heart of the district at stake, is anything but a socialist hotbed.