Former Democratic State Rep. Christina Hale announced Thursday that she is officially running for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District seat.
Last month, Republican Susan Brooks, who has held the seat since 2012, announced she would not seek re-election. The district, which runs from the north side of Marion County north through Hamilton County and up to Grant County, long has been considered a safe GOP seat, but Democrats see an opening with Brooks’ retirement and changing demographics.
Hale, who built a statewide profile when she ran for lieutenant governor in 2016 with Democrat John Gregg, said in a statement that she will focus her campaign on giving a voice to middle-class Hoosiers.
“People want their representatives to not only understand but to feel the challenges they face. I know these challenges personally,” Hale said. “I know the price of milk and how hard it can be to find quality daycare. I’ve been a single mom scrapping to balance work and school, and then repay my student loans and buy my first house.”
“Whether it was doing what’s best for my family or trying to get ahead in the working world, I’ve had to work for it,” she said. “That’s exactly what Hoosiers can expect of me in Congress where I’ll fight every day to make life better for people by lowering the cost of health care and working to ensure that we have an economy that works for everybody.”
Hale was first elected to the Indiana General Assembly in 2012, defeating an incumbent Republican state representative. There, she built a reputation for working across political party lines. During her 2014 reelection bid, Hale earned the support of both the AFL-CIO, a statewide labor organization, and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Since the unsuccessful 2016 campaign, Hale, a Purdue University graduate, has served as executive director of youth programs for Kiwanis International.
Several Republicans, including former State Sen. Mike Delph of Carmel and Sen. John Ruckelshaus of Indianapolis, are eying the race. Two Democrats, Dee Thornton, a corporate consultant from Carmel who lost to Brooks in 2018, and Jennifer Christie, who ran in the Democratic primary in 2018, have also filed their candidacies.
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