Mike Sodrel

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Mike Sodrel
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 78)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseMarquita Dean (d. 2015)
Residence(s)Columbus, Indiana, U.S.
EducationIndiana University, Southeast
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1966–1973
UnitIndiana National Guard
 • 151st Infantry Regiment

Michael Eugene Sodrel[1] (born December 17, 1945) is an American politician and businessman who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives for Indiana's 9th congressional district from 2005 to 2007. Sodrel launched another run against incumbent Democratic Rep. Baron Hill in 2010 – his fifth straight run for Congress in the ninth district. However, he lost the Republican nomination to Bloomington attorney Todd Young, who won the general election.

In 2022, after a twelve-year political retirement, Sodrel announced he was running for his old seat in the 2022 United States House of Representatives elections in Indiana.[2] He would lose the Republican primary to State Senator Erin Houchin.[3]

Early life

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Sodrel grew up across the Ohio River in New Albany, Indiana. He graduated New Albany High School in 1963. Sodrel attended Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Indiana.[citation needed]


From 1966 to 1973, Sodrel served in the 151st Infantry Regiment of the Indiana National Guard.[4] He was honorably discharged with the rank of staff sergeant. Since 1963, Sodrel has worked at his family's business, Sodrel Truck Lines Inc. He founded the Free Enterprise System Inc. (a charter motor-coach/contract passenger-carrier) and Sodrel Logistics.[5]

Sodrel is the author of an internet book, Citizen Sheep Government Shepherds.[6]

U.S. House of Representatives

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

Sodrel served as a member of the United States House Committee on Agriculture, United States House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, United States House Committee on Small Business, and United States House Committee on Science.

During his term, Sodrel opposed partial-birth abortions and federal funding for elective abortions. He opposed additional environmental regulations. He has outspokenly supported the right to bear arms. He has a 92 lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union,[7] and a zero rating from the League of Conservation Voters.[8] 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 U.S. District Judge David Hamilton's ruling that official Indiana House proceedings could not begin with sectarian prayers that advanced any particular religion.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11]


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.[12] 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.[13] Sodrel's fundraising was weak compared both to Hill and Sodrel's 2006 figures.

Hill defeated Sodrel in the election, 58% to 39%.[14]


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 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 showed Sodrel leading Hill 49–41 in a head-to-head race.[15] However he lost the Republican nomination, coming in third place behind Travis Hankins and winner Todd Young. Young won the general election against Hill.[16]


On February 8, 2022, Sodrel announced that he would once again seek the Republican nomination for the ninth district after three-term representative Trey Hollingsworth announced his retirement.[2] Sodrel was one of nine Republicans seeking the nomination in the district.[17] Sodrel would come in second in the primary to State Senator Erin Houchin, who would go on to succeed Hollingsworth as Congressperson for the ninth district.[3]

Electoral history

Indiana's 9th congressional district: Results 2002–2008[18]
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

In 1967, Sodrel married Marquita Dean; they have two children and seven granddaughters. 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.


  1. ^ Who's Who in the Midwest. Marquis Who's Who. 2009.
  2. ^ a b TRIBUNE, NEWS AND (February 8, 2022). "Former Congressman Sodrel enters 9th District race". News and Tribune. Retrieved April 22, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Lange, Kaitlin. "Former state Sen. Erin Houchin wins in 9th Congressional District Republican primary". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  4. ^ "Mike Sodrel". Ballotpedia. Retrieved April 26, 2022.
  5. ^ "Trucking magnate running for Congress caught in residence kerfuffle". TheTrucker.com. Associated Press. April 22, 2022. Retrieved May 3, 2022.
  6. ^ Sodrel releases first book, Chris Morris, Jefferson Evening News and Tribune, August 20, 2010
  7. ^ [1] Archived July 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "2009 National Environmental Scorecard". Lcv.org. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  9. ^ [2] Archived December 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ [3] Archived May 24, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ [4] Archived September 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ [5] Archived July 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Rep. Baron Hill | The Cook Political Report". Cookpolitical.com. Archived from the original on November 27, 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  14. ^ "Hill Defeats Sodrel". WLKY. November 4, 2008. Archived from the original on February 13, 2012. Retrieved November 5, 2008.
  15. ^ "IN-9: Baron Hill Trailing Mike Sodrel in Fifth Straight Match Up, 41% to 49% | Elections". Elections.firedoglake.com. January 21, 2010. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  16. ^ Magleby, David B.; Patterson, Kelly D. (December 3, 2015). Battle for Congress: Iraq, Scandal, and Campaign Finance in the 2006 Election. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-26334-0.
  17. ^ "Candidate List - Abbreviated" (PDF). Indiana Secretary of State.
  18. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Archived from the original on July 30, 2008. Retrieved January 10, 2008.

External links

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

Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative