EDITORIAL: Visclosky earns our endorsement for steadfast Region vision

NWI Times

Northwest Indiana needs a lion guarding its interests and roaring it into a new era on Capitol Hill.

It has that in U.S. House Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Gary.

The Times Editorial Board endorses the 16-term congressman, tenured for three decades, in the upcoming May Democratic primary as he seeks yet another term of serving our Region.

We frequently hear compelling arguments for term limits at all levels of government — but especially Congress.

"Drain the swamp," we've heard our president say.

"We need a frequent renewal of fresh blood and new ideas to change Washington," other critics will argue.

In the case of Visclosky, however, we can think of no one better to continue a strong tradition of fighting for Region steelworkers, our lifeblood industries and transformational goals for growing Northwest Indiana.

And it's not even close.

The congressman continues his crusade, which appears to be on strong footing, to expand commuter rail in Northwest Indiana.

He's helped orchestrate a unification of state and region laws, dollars and development might to lay the tracks toward federal matching funds.

If our Region succeeds in expanding commuter rail from Hammond to Dyer, developing new economic districts around the rail lines and double-tracking to speed up commutes between Gary and Michigan City, we'll largely have Visclosky to thank.

His vision continues to challenge and push the Region to step out of Chicago's shadow as its own driving entity while harnessing the might of Chicago's economic proximity.

Visclosky has been adept at summoning hard-hitting bipartisan support — including Gov. Eric Holcomb, Sen. Todd Young, Sen. Joe Donnelly, Indiana House Rep. Hal Slager and so many others — to his banner of building a new economy via rail expansion.

Republicans and Democrats alike — from township to congressional seats — espouse respect for him on both sides of the political aisle.

And he continues a tireless battle to improve the fortunes of Northwest Indiana steel and its workers.

There are no serious opponents facing the congressman. His track record should earn your vote.