SIIA PAC Cultivates Senate Hopefuls

Getting close to leading Senate candidates: SIIA's Political Action Committee provides the perfect platform for getting acquainted with emerging political leaders. This week's examples are two Republican Senatorial candidates who are both leading in their bids to replace retiring Democratic Senators.

'Meet and greet' for Indiana's Daniel Coats: An important benefit of a PAC is no-cost invitations to get acquainted with emerging candidates at the traditional Washington "meet and greet" sessions. This week's object of SIIA's attention was Daniel Coats, a longtime well-known national political leader. He served Indiana as Senator for ten years before being succeeded by Democrat Evan Bayh, and now is trying to return the favor following Bayh's announcement that he will not seek reelection.

Coats is familiar and comfortable with insurance issues: Early in his career Dan Coats worked as an attorney with a Fort Wayne, Indiana, life insurance company and affirms his compatibility with SIIA on important issues such as national healthcare reform. Coats will be remembered as twice succeeding Dan Quayle, first when Quayle left the House to win a Senate seat, and then when Quayle left the Senate to be elected Vice President with President George H.W. Bush in 1988. Coats was re-elected to the Senate seat in 1992.

Polls show Coats with comfortable lead: This week Coats polled 11 points higher than his Democratic opponent, Congressman Brad Ellsworth. Coats proved his continuing appeal to Indiana voters by winning the Indiana Senate Republican primary race over former Indiana Congressman John Hostettler and state Sen. Marlin Stutzman. SIIA lobbyists attending the "meet and greet" session were pleased to learn that Coats has maintained an avid interest in business and insurance issues.

SIIA PAC will support events for North Dakota's Hoeven: SIIA's PAC board has approved sponsorship of two upcoming fund-raising events for North Dakota's Republican Governor John Hoeven, the runaway poll leader by more than 30 points to succeed ND Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan, who announced that he will retire at the end of his term.

Hoeven brings practical business background: In a world of lawyers, Gov. Hoeven stands out as an unrepentant businessman by education and experience. A graduate of Dartmouth College with an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, Gov. Hoeven became president and CEO of the Bank of North Dakota before entering politics.

SIIA members best political action antennas: SIIA members are encouraged to alert the national government relations office in Washington, DC, about candidates, issues or trends of interest in their home states and districts. Call (202) 463-8161 to get on SIIA's national political radar screen.