ANDERSON – With the unexpected announcement last year that Susan Brooks would not seek reelection in the 5th Congressional District, 15 candidates are vying for the nomination.

A recent poll done by the conservative Club for Growth in mid-May shows the frontrunners for the GOP nomination in the June 2 primary are Victoria Spartz, Carl Brizzi, Beth Henderson, Micah Beckwith and Kelly Mitchell.

Spartz was elected to the Indiana Senate in 2017 when the incumbent retired, Mitchell is the Indiana state treasurer and Brizzi is a former Marion County prosecutor.

All 15 have declared themselves to be conservative candidates and all but one has expressed support for the policies of President Donald Trump.

Spartz, who was born in the Ukraine and became a U.S. citizen, has stressed to knowing what life is like in a socialist society.

“Our freedoms are under attack,” she said. “This election is not about Victoria Spartz or Donald Trump. It’s about choice – government by the people or government controlled by special interests?”

Mitchell points out that she was a county commissioner before being elected Indiana state treasurer.

“If you elect me you will send a fighter,” she said. “I can keep the district red.”

She said she will fight for sound policies.

“I know what is to struggle and strive,” Mitchell said. “I have an unwavering determination to protect America.”

Brizzi maintains as a former prosecuting attorney he will work to make China reimburse the country for the cost of the coronavirus pandemic.

He noted his election twice in Marion County and the ability to attract Democratic Party voters.

“I will work with President Trump to hold China accountable,” he said.

Henderson is a registered nurse and businesswoman in Hamilton County and points out that currently there are only two nurses in the Congress.

“I share your values and conservative principles,” she said. “I support a limited government.”

Beckwith said he is running to win for the next generation of Americans.

“I want to preserve the liberties for our children,” he said.

When asked about a priority if elected to support the Constitution or the party, Beckwith said the Republican Party deserved to lose control of the U.S. House in 2018.

“In 2010 the Republicans said they were going to reduce spending and repeal the Affordable Care Act,” he said. “I will call the party out if they step out of line.”

Henderson said she will work to preserve the country’s freedoms and liberties for the next generation.

“I will work for Hoosier values to set priorities when making decisions,” she said. “I will not be devoted to special interests.”

Brizzi said the nation’s principles established by the Founding Fathers are under attack by career politicians.

Mitchell said she will support and defend the Constitution to work for smaller government, be pro business and for a free market economy.

“My loyalty will be to the Constitution and the importance of those words,” she said.

Spartz said legislative bodies at all levels are the policy makers.

“If we don’t do our job, we allow the executive branch to set policy,” she said.

Campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission through May 13 shows that Spartz has loaned her campaign $750,000.

In total her campaign has raised $841,882 and spent $681,169.

Henderson has loaned her campaign $254,600. It reported total contributions of $445,459 and expenditures of $291,331.

Brizzi has loaned his campaign $80,000 and has raised a total of $144,761 and has spent $111,620.

Beckwith’s campaign reported contributions of $147,490 which includes a $2,066 loan and expenditures of $132,495.

Mitchell’s report dated for March 13 showed a debt of $9,300 and total contributions of $283,103 and expenditures of $227,679.

The other candidates seeking the nomination include: Kent Abernathy, Andrew Bales, Allen Davidson, Chuck Dietzen, Matthew Hook, Matthew Hullinger, Danny Niederberger, Mark Small, Russell Stwalley and Victor Wakley.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

Senior Reporter covering Anderson and Madison County government, politics and auto racing for The Herald Bulletin. Has been working as a journalist in central Indiana since 1977.

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