Phil Troyer said he is seeking the 3rd District congressional seat to lower government spending.

Troyer, 45, a Fort Wayne attorney, visited the Times-Union recently to discuss why he is seeking the seat.

He first announced Nov. 10 he will challenge current Congressman Mark Souder in the Republican primary in May. Dr. Tom Hayhurst has filed for the seat on the Democrat ticket. Hayhurst previously ran for the seat in 2006.
Troyer ran unsuccessfully in the 4th District congressional primary in 1992. He was an aide to U.S. senators Dan Coats (R-IN) and Richard Lugar (R-IN). He also served as a campaign manager for Rick Hawks' 1990 congressional challenge race.

Troyer is an attorney for financial service firm NRP Financial and has a degree in political science from DePauw University.

Troyer said he has researched Souder's spending record and doesn't agree with it.

"When I read Souder had voted in favor of the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street and Troubled Assets Relief Program, to me that was the final straw," Troyer said. "The problem with members of Congress is they are like a kid in the candy store that hasn't realized they only have a dollar in their pocket to spend."

Troyer said he has concerns with the $12 trillion debt that will be pushed onto future generations.

"Last year we paid $451 billion just on the interest of that debt and that didn't purchase one helmet for a soldier in Afghanistan or provide one child an immunization," Troyer said. He said he does not agree with Souder's decision to support the government spending $1.914 trillion for prescription drug benefits and the Wall Street and auto industry bailouts.

Troyer also said he does not support Souder's decision to vote in favor of the prescription drug benefit plan.

"You can argue that it is a good program that provides benefits for senior citizens, but it needs to be paid for," Troyer said.

He said a way to pay for the plan would be to cut spending somewhere else, but not provide the benefit that will cost $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years if there are not funds to cover it.

Troyer said Souder was elected 15 years ago when 54 new Republican House members came in and took control over the House. He said they promised there would be a new style of government and the federal budget would be balanced.

"Instead of lowering spending, they increased it; and instead of ending the influence of lobbyists there are now fundraising scandals," Troyer said.

Troyer also spoke about the health care bill Souder voted against. "Congressman Souder pats himself on the back in that he voted against the president's health care bill, but the thing Souder doesn't say is if it wasn't for three votes, the bill would not have passed," Troyer said.

Troyer said in 2010 he thinks Republicans have the opportunity to regain a lot of seats and take control of the majority.

"The questions voters have to ask themselves is if we elect all the same politicians who let us down the last time, what will change?" Troyer asked.