10 things about Mike Sodrel
1. Sodrel was born Dec. 17, 1945, to a seamstress mother and a truck driver father, as a fourth-generation Hoosier.
2. He served in the Army National Guard from 1966 until 1973, when he was honorably discharged.
3. He married Marquita (nicknamed Keta) Dean in 1967, 19 days after meeting the former homecoming queen. They have two grown children and seven granddaughters.
4. Sodrel took classes at Indiana University Southeast for two years, accumulating about a semester's worth of credits. "I got antsy sitting in a classroom. I'm kind of an impatient person. I had the desire to get out into the real world," he told once told a reporter.
5. In 1976, Sodrel started his own small business, a passenger transportation business called Free Enterprise System Inc. In 1987, he bought Sodrel Truck Lines from his family and grew the business from 150 to 500 employees with trucks running across the Midwest.
6. Sodrel mocks executives who spend time "hitting little itty-bitty balls on the range." He believes if management spends too much time out of the workplace, it will end up "seeing lower commitment levels from employees."
7. In 2002, Sodrel lost his first congressional race to incumbent Democrat Baron Hill, after spending more than $1 million of his own money. He ran again in 2004 (this time with much support from the GOP), on a "traditional moral values" platform. After a brief recount, he won a narrow victory over Hill, becoming the first Republican in over 40 years to represent the Indiana district.
8. While campaigning in the last election, Sodrel is quoted as saying, "I'm a nationalist, not a globalist." He went on: "I am moved by the Stars and Stripes. The baby blue of the U.N. flag does nothing for me."
9. He describes himself as an amateur student of economics, philosophy, and American history. In his congressional office, he has a shelf full of original and early works on liberty and dignity, which he collects through a public educational foundation, the Remnant Trust of Hagerstown, Ind.
10. Sodrel is active in his church, the Rotary Club, the Boy Scouts, and the Chamber of Commerce.