WASHINGTON--Northeast Indiana has a new congressman.
Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) was sworn in late Tuesday afternoon. He will finish the term abandoned last May by former Rep. Mark Souder.
Stutzman will assume an office that has been empty for almost six months. He will finish the lame-duck session as a member of the minority party. But starting in January, he will take his place in a Republican-controlled House.
U.S. House members warmly welcomed Stutzman at Tuesday’s swearing in. The ceremony caps more than a year of campaigning for Stutzman. He first ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate; then, he ran for Indiana’s third district seat, which was left empty after Mark Souder resigned.
But Stutzman isn’t saying much about his predecessor.
“I believe it’s more important that I look forward and serve with integrity and serve with a character that best represents the people back at home,” said Stutzman.
After getting sworn in, Stutzman and his family smiled for the cameras with outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose policies Stutzman spent months campaigning against.
“I believe that we have an opportunity in this country right now to right this ship and get back to the type of government that our founding fathers intended,” said Stutzman.
By being sworn in Tuesday, Stutzman gets a bump in seniority over other freshman lawmakers. Looking ahead to his service in Congress, Stutzman has a long road ahead as he works to fulfill the promises he made to the people who elected him.
“People want spending under control,” said Stutzman. “They want to see a smaller federal government. They want to see us support our military and remember the priorities of what our Constitution has laid out for each one of us.”
Congressman Stutzman won’t be in Washington, D.C. very long. He will head back to Indiana later this week and attend a tree-lighting ceremony in Fort Wayne on Friday.