(WHAS11) -- Former Miss Indiana Shelli Yoder on Tuesday soundly defeated five other candidates to capture the Democratic Party's nomination for Indiana's 9th Congressional District.
"We're excited and really amazed but honored to have the victory that we do," Yoder said in an interview via Skype with WHAS11 News.
"We're going to start working right away," Yoder continued. "It's going to be a - I don't want to use the word fight because that isn't exactly the metaphor I want to use - but it's going to be a campaign that we're going to run smart, we're going to be hard working and we are going to start working from day one."
"I'd like to congratulate Shelli Yoder on winning the Democrat nomination," U.S. Rep. Todd Young (R) said in a statement. "I look forward to a spirited general election debate focused on ideas for moving our country forward."
Young defeated U.S. Rep. Baron Hill (D) in 2010 in his first bid for Congress.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Yoder had garnered 12933 votes, or 47% of the vote. Former Congressman Lee Hamiltion aide Robert Winningham attracted fewer than half as many votes, 5538 or 20%. Jonathan George was third at 17%, John Tilford and
John Miller both recorded about 8% of the vote.
Yoder entered the race 90 days ago.
"(We will) keep reaching out to folks and making sure that they have an opportunity to feel like they have a choice to choose a representative that will truly stand for their interests as working families," Yoder said.
Young was quick to link Yoder to President Barack Obama.
"Ultimately, this race will come down to deciding whether we chart a new course for this country that leads to job creation, limits the reach of our federal government and gives Hoosiers more freedom--as I have fought for in my first year in Congress--or whether we continue to embrace the failed Washington-knows-best approach advocated by President Obama and Shelli Yoder," Young said in his statement.
"I am a Democrat, and so of course I am somebody who is going to vote Democrat in my President," Yoder said. "But who I am going to be endorsing for this coming November, I am going to be endorsing the farmers, our labor workers, our teachers, our single moms, our working dads, nurses, those people who are in the trenches, our veterans. That's who I am going to be endorsing and that's what I am going to be focused on throughout this campaign."
The Ninth Congressional District is a traditional battleground and has been home to tight elections that have attracted the interest of national party support.
Yoder said she she hopes her campaign will receive similar support by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, yet emphasized local concerns.
"What this campaign is going to be about are the people of the Ninth District," Yoder told WHAS11. "And we are going to continue with that message that this isn't about Washington. This is about people in the Ninth District of Indiana feeling like they once again are going to be able to be heard, listened to and seen and have someone fighting for them in Washington."