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Mike Sodrel
Sodrel Mike.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 9th district
In office
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Preceded byBaron Hill
Succeeded byBaron Hill
Personal details
Born (1945-12-17) December 17, 1945 (age 75)
Louisville, Kentucky
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Marquita Dean Sodrel
ResidenceNew Albany, Indiana
OccupationAutomotive executive, author

Michael E. Sodrel (born December 17, 1945) served as the United States Representative from the Indiana's 9th congressional district, representing the Republican Party for one term from 2005 to 2007. Sodrel's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives was his first public office. Sodrel launched another run against incumbent Democratic Rep. Baron Hill in 2010 – his fifth straight run for Congress in the ninth district. However, Sodrel lost the Republican nomination to Bloomington attorney Todd Young, who won the general election.

Early life, education and career

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Sodrel grew up across the Ohio River in New Albany, Indiana, where he now lives. He graduated New Albany High School in 1963. In 1967 he married Marquita Dean; they have two children and seven granddaughters. Sodrel attended Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Indiana.

From 1966 to 1973 Sodrel served in the Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 151st Mechanized Infantry, formerly part of the 38th Infantry Division. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant. Since 1963 Sodrel has worked in one role or another at the family business Sodrel Truck Lines Inc. He founded The Free Enterprise System Inc. (a charter motor-coach/contract passenger-carrier) and Sodrel Logistics.

U.S. House of Representatives

Sodrel at a joint press conference with Dan Burton, Steve Buyer, Chris Chocola, and John Hostettler in 2005
Sodrel at a joint press conference with Dan Burton, Steve Buyer, Chris Chocola, and John Hostettler in 2005

Sodrel served on the Agriculture, Transportation and Infrastructure, Small Business and Science committees.

During his term, Sodrel expressed strong pro-life opinions and opposed partial-birth abortions and federal funding for elective abortions. He opposed additional environmental regulations. He has outspokenly supported the second-amendment right to bear arms. He has a 92 lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union,[1] and a 0 rating from the League of Conservation Voters.[2] He is in favor of permanently repealing the federal estate tax.

In 2006 Sodrel introduced a bill that would prevent federal courts from ruling on the content of speech in state legislatures. The proposal came as a response to a ruling by U.S. District Judge David Hamilton, the nephew of former Congressman Lee H. Hamilton, who had judged that official Indiana House proceedings could not begin with sectarian prayers that advanced any particular religion.[3]

Political campaigns

Sodrel has campaigned on a platform of creating and protecting jobs, lowering taxes and values.[clarification needed] He drives his own 18-wheeler on the campaign trail. He first ran for the House of Representatives in 2002, losing to incumbent Baron Hill, 51% to 46%. In the 2004 rematch, he defeated Hill by 1,500 votes.


Sodrel faced Hill again in the 2006 general election. The Cook Political Report, an independent nonpartisan newsletter, rated the race as a toss-up.[4]

President George W. Bush came to a Sodrel fundraiser in Indianapolis early in 2006, while his opponent gained help in Indianapolis with fundraisers from former President Bill Clinton.

Sodrel ultimately lost his bid for re-election by a margin of 45% to 50%. The candidates raised equivalent funds in 2006.

Texas millionaire Bob J. Perry gave more than $5 million to the Economic Freedom Fund, a 527 group, which included Hill as one of its targets for removal. The group paid for automated "push poll" calls attacking Hill. These calls stopped after action by the Indiana Attorney General.[5]


In October 2007 Sodrel announced that he would run again in 2008 for the Congressional seat against Baron Hill, whom he defeated in 2004 but to whom he lost in 2002 and 2006.[6] In 2006 Cook rated the race as a toss-up for the duration of the race, but in 2008 the race moved between Likely D to Lean D on the Cook Political Report.[7] Sodrel's fund-raising was weak compared both to Hill and Sodrel's 2006 figures.

Hill defeated Sodrel in the election, 58% to 39%.[8]


On January 11, 2010 at an event in Jeffersonville, Indiana, Mike Sodrel announced that he would again seek the 2010 Republican nomination for the 9th District Congressional seat. He joined two other candidates in the field of Republican contenders: Bloomington attorney Todd Young (a native of Carmel, Indiana) and Columbus real-estate investor Travis Hankins. A poll published by the left-leaning weblog Firedoglake shows Sodrel leading Hill 49-41 in a head to head race.[9] However he lost the Republican nomination, coming in third place behind Travis Hankins and winner Todd Young.

Electoral history

Indiana's 9th congressional district: Results 2002–2006[10]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2002 Baron P. Hill 96,654 51% Mike Sodrel 87,169 46% Jeff Melton Green 2,745 2% Al Cox Libertarian 2,389 1%
2004 Baron P. Hill 140,772 49% Mike Sodrel 142,197 49% Al Cox Libertarian 4,541 2%
2006 Baron P. Hill 110,454 50% Mike Sodrel 100,469 46% D. Eric Schansberg Libertarian 9,893 4% *
2008 Baron P. Hill 181,254 58% Mike Sodrel 121,514 38% D. Eric Schansberg Libertarian 12,000 4%
Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 2006, Donald W. Mantooth received 33 votes.

Personal life

Sodrel has served on numerous charitable organization's board of directors, including the Remnant Trust and as a past regional council president of the Boy Scouts of America.


Sodrel is the author of an internet book, Citizen Sheep Government Shepherds.[11]


  1. ^ [1] Archived July 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "2009 National Environmental Scorecard". Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  3. ^ [2] Archived December 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ [3] Archived May 24, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ [4] Archived September 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ [5] Archived July 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Rep. Baron Hill | The Cook Political Report". Archived from the original on November 27, 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  8. ^ "Hill Defeats Sodrel". WLKY. November 4, 2008. Archived from the original on February 13, 2012. Retrieved November 5, 2008.
  9. ^ "IN-9: Baron Hill Trailing Mike Sodrel in Fifth Straight Match Up, 41% to 49% | Elections". January 21, 2010. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  10. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Archived from the original on July 30, 2008. Retrieved January 10, 2008.
  11. ^ Sodrel releases first book, Chris Morris, Jefferson Evening News and Tribune, August 20, 2010

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Baron Hill
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 9th congressional district

January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Succeeded by
Baron Hill
This page was last edited on 11 April 2021, at 19:08
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