Conservative challenger Charles Bookwalter outpaced Rep. Jim Baird in fundraising and had twice as many individual contributors; says FEC reporting shows Baird being propped up by Washington lobbyists

THORNTOWN, Indiana | Thursday, July 27, 2023: Charles Bookwalter, the conservative who’s challenging Rep. Jim Baird in the Republican primary in Indiana’s 4th Congressional District, outpaced the sitting congressman in fundraising in late May and June, showing $39,214 raised since May 21 when he announced, while Baird, the sitting congressman, raised only $13,250 during this same period.

On the latest FEC report due July 15, Baird showed a total of $48,602 raised in the 2023-2024 election cycle, while Bookwalter raised $44,214.

But most of Baird’s money was from lobbyists and their Political Action Committees.

Only nine individuals contributed to Baird’s campaign for re-election in the second quarter of 2023 and only four of them are from the 4th Congressional District. The others are from other parts of Indiana and from California.

Of Baird’s four contributors who live in the 4th Congressional District, two are politicians: Martinsville Mayor Kenny Costin and former State Sen. Phil Boots, the only Republican to vote against a ban on partial-birth abortion.

In contrast, 18 individuals have contributed to Bookwalter’s campaign since he announced on May 21.

“Baird’s fundraising shows what we’ve been seeing on the ground – that he has little to no support among the people of the district,” says Bookwalter. “He’s being propped up by Washington lobbyists. His FEC reporting is Exhibit A of what’s wrong with our country, and shows us exactly why we have so many members of Congress who refuse to vote the way their constituents want. They’re beholden to lobbyists, not the people who elected them.”

Baird’s biggest contributor in the second quarter was the American Crystal Sugar Company PAC, which gave his campaign $5,000.

Baird got more than $10,000 from sugar PACs, just as Congress begins consideration of the next Farm Bill, which will set U.S. agricultural policy for the next five years.

Notably, the so-called ‘Sugar Program’ – which is part of the Farm Bill — provides extraordinary support for U.S. sugar producers in the form of a guaranteed bottom price for sugar – something not offered to producers of any other commodity.

“We have a government but no representation,” said Bookwalter. “Congress does not represent the voting constituency. It represents the financial class. We literally are not represented.”

Baird also got contributions from three defense contractors: Saab Inc. Employees PAC, Rolls Royce North America PAC, and Space Exploration Technologies PAC.

In his campaign, Bookwalter has promised to fight for “an end to endless wars that have been stealing our nation’s blood and treasure for decades and don’t have anything to do with a threat to our national security.” 

Rep. Jim Baird has voted for every package of aid to Ukraine and recently voted to send cluster bombs to Ukraine. The United States has spent more than $113 billion on the war in Ukraine and likely closer to $200 billion if taking into account all deployments to Europe in support of the war since February 2022. 

Bookwalter is a former Green Beret who lives in northern Boone County with his wife and three daughters. He’s a former medical device sales representative with Intuitive Surgical, a commercial property developer, and the owner of the Jimmy John’s restaurant in Frankfort. 

He announced his run for Congress at a Liberty Revival event at his home on May 21 and is campaigning full-time across the western Indiana district, which stretches from Morgan County in the south to Newton and Jasper counties in the north.

All FEC information referenced herein can be found on the Federal Election Commission’s website at

Screenshots of Baird’s fundraising are below.   
Bookwalter for Congress
PO Box 43Thorntown, IN 46071
ph (765) 670-1221
Margaret Menge, campaign manager: (812) 369-4325 or (561) 801-6397