THORNTOWN, Indiana | Monday, May 22, 2023: Charles Bookwalter of Boone County announced Sunday that he’s running for Congress, challenging incumbent Rep. Jim Baird for the Republican nomination in Indiana’s 4th Congressional District.
Bookwalter is a former Green Beret, a former medical sales representative with Intuitive Surgical, a commercial property developer, and the co-owner of a Jimmy John’s restaurant in Clinton County.
He announced his run for Congress at a Liberty Revival event at his home on Sunday afternoon before a crowd of about 80 people, saying he stood up to the county, state, and corporations during the Covid pandemic, and left his job with Intuitive Surgical over the company’s vaccine mandate.
“I’d waited for Jim Baird to speak up for people like me,” he said, “but he never did…Jim Baird didn’t speak up for Hoosiers who were losing their jobs for not getting a vaccine, or losing their businesses and in some cases their homes because of Covid restrictions imposed by the government.”
Bookwalter called Baird a “Big Government Republican,” saying we can honor his service to our country while also addressing his record.
He pointed to Baird’s rating on the scorecard published by Heritage Action, the Heritage Foundation’s political arm.
“Heritage Action said Jim Baird is the least conservative member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana,” Bookwalter said. “He got a score of just 79 percent, compared to the average for all Republican House members of 89 percent.”
“Jim Baird was rated as much less conservative than the average Republican in the House, think about that,” he said.
Bookwalter also criticized Baird for his vote in favor of red flag laws, saying Baird voted for the National Defense Authorization Act in 2021 that included a red flag law that “would allow military courts to strip servicemembers of their Second Amendment rights without due process and without the servicemember being present in court.”
Baird, he said, also was a co-sponsor on a vaccine tracking bill that a conservative member of the U.S. House of Representatives said would be used to “hound” Americans who don’t want to get a vaccine.
Bookwalter also criticized Baird’s vote to send more than $113 billion to Ukraine, saying the money isn’t just being used for defense, but is “being laundered back into big corporations and is being used to provoke Russia into a nuclear war.”
“We’re now closer to nuclear war than at any time in more than half a century. Americans don’t want this. People of the 4th district don’t want this,” he said.
Indiana’s 4th Congressional District includes all of 13 counties (Morgan, Putnam, Hendricks, Boone, Clinton, White, Jasper, Newton, Carroll, Benton, Tippecanoe, Montgomery, and Warren) plus parts of two other counties (Fountain and Cass) and one township in Howard County.
The largest city in the district is Lafayette.
Bookwalter lives with his wife Beverly and three daughters in Thorntown, in northern Boone County.
Top photo below: Bookwalter (center in dark blue) with members of the Boone County group ‘In Libertas’ – taken Sunday, May 21 following the announcement.
Bookwalter for Congress
PO Box 43
Thorntown, IN 46071
ph (765) 670-1221
Margaret Menge, campaign manager: ph (812) 369-4325