INDIANAPOLIS – We’re days away from the May 3 primary, and one of the biggest races this year is for the open seat in the 9th Congressional District, which covers Southeast Indiana and parts of South Central Indiana.
Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-Indiana) is not running for reelection. Nine Republicans and three Democrats are looking to earn their party’s nomination on Tuesday and get their names on the November ballot.
It’s a longtime GOP district, and Republicans are working to keep it that way.
“Knock doors, send mail, make phone calls – we’ve done this multiple cycles in a row and it’s what led the Republican party to be so dominant in the state,” said Kyle Hupfer, Indiana GOP chairman.
As the primary election nears, one of the big issues facing the U.S. is the conflict in Ukraine.
“It is important that America stands up and is strong around the world and shows strength, otherwise these threats will come to our shores,” said Republican candidate Stu Barnes-Israel, an Army veteran who fought alongside Polish special forces in Afghanistan.
Several of the candidates, especially Republicans, have discussed the subsequent spike in oil and gas prices on the campaign trail.
Former Republican State Sen. Erin Houchin said she wants to see the U.S. resume work on the Keystone XL pipeline.
“We also need to be utilizing our own energy resources,” Houchin said. “We can’t be reliant on other countries for our energy independence.”
As inflation remains a big concern for many Hoosier voters, longtime businessman and former Congressman Mike Sodrel said believes it also comes down to government spending.
“When you have more money chasing the same amount of products and services, it causes prices to rise,” Sodrel, a Republican, said.
Though the district has been in Republican hands, Democrats say they see opportunity, especially since it’s an open seat.
“We want to hold the GOP accountable,” said Mike Schmuhl, state party chairman for the Indiana Democrats. “Republicans have been in charge of Indiana for 18 years now. And I think their track record is pretty mixed.”
To watch interviews with more of the candidates, click here.