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Associated Press
Republican Congressional candidate Ben Quayle, second from left, has made news with his commercial that ramps up his criticism of President Obama.

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Field for Supreme Court lacks past female finalistObama useful tool for Quayle

Sixteen of 22 candidates for the Indiana Supreme Court are female, offering Gov. Mitch Daniels ample opportunity to do the right thing and appoint a woman to the all-male court when Justice Frank Sullivan steps down this year. But one candidate who would appear to have an advantage is missing.

Jane Seigel, executive director of the Indiana Judicial Center, was one of three finalists for the court in March, when Daniels chose his former general counsel, Mark Massa. Appeals Court Judge Cale Bradford, the third finalist, is a candidate for the latest vacancy.

But Seigel told The Journal Gazette in an email that she did not apply this time around for personal reasons – a conflict with scheduled family events.

Asked if she believed a female perspective on the state’s highest court would be valuable, Seigel responded “Absolutely.”

She gave the selection process high marks: “I found the (Judicial Nominating Commission) members to be extremely gracious, interested in what can be done in Indiana to improve the administration of justice and the judicial branch as a whole, and I certainly felt affirmed by them,” Seigel wrote. “I believe their questions were challenging but fair and insightful, and designed to draw out responses that allowed them to make the recommendation to the governor. I believe the governor should make the final decision, and also believe that he was presented with three very qualified candidates that came to him through the selection process.”

For a conservative congressman facing a primary battle, bashing President Obama is a no-brainer. But U.S. Rep. Ben Quayle’s commercial made news partly because he is the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle.

Born in Fort Wayne just four days after his dad was elected to Congress for the first time, Ben Quayle is a first-term Arizona congressman whom the National Journal rated – along with nine others – as the most conservative member of Congress. In his 2010 campaign, Quayle called Obama “the worst president in history.”

Now, facing another incumbent Republican congressman because of redistricting, Quayle is ramping up the rhetoric. In his newest commercial, Quayle says of Obama: “Two years ago, I called him ‘the worst president in history.’ I overestimated him.”

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