INDIANAPOLIS – On this week’s edition of IN Focus, we’re speaking with the candidates for Indiana’s 7th Congressional District where incumbent Rep. André Carson (D-IN-07) is facing Republican challenger Angela Grabovsky. The newly reconfigured district covers much of Marion County, aside from the South Side of Indianapolis.

Carson responds to Grabovsky visit

Both candidates engaged in a back-and-forth exchange in recent days. In a video posted by her campaign, Grabovsky went to the congressman’s district office and was told it wasn’t fully open because of COVID-19 precautions. Rep. Carson pushed back on that notion, calling it “ridiculous.”

“There were staffers in the office when she was there,” Rep. Carson said. “So it’s clear that her motivations were purely political, and she basically took advantage of a security officer who was at the front desk.”

The congressman added that his staff has been working on altered schedules since the pandemic began, and it hasn’t slowed down their workflow.

“We’ve had a hybrid system since COVID,” Rep. Carson said. “We’ve been able to deal with casework quite effectively. We’ve still been able to get a lot of work done while taking necessary COVID precautions. But the office has never been shut down over the past two years.”

Grabovsky’s residency

In his response, Rep. Carson said it’s “notable” that Grabovsky doesn’t live within the 7th District’s boundaries, and the state party put out a news release this week saying her residency “raises concerns” though congressional candidates are not legally required to live in their specific district. Meanwhile, Grabovsky maintains she “continues all [her] work in the district.”

“I live just ten blocks outside of the district,” Grabovsky said. “What I do is: I go home across the street to 106th Street to sleep. But my life is in the district. I meet with all of the people in the district on a daily basis.”

When asked if she would move into the district’s boundaries if elected, Grabovsky says she will “if it’s required.”

“My job would be 60% in Washington, D.C., 40% in the district,” Grabovsky said. “We’ll probably need an office somewhere downtown.”

Turning to the video of her visit to Rep. Carson’s district office, Grabovsky criticized his team for their new hybrid schedules.

“The job of the United States Congressman or Congresswoman has to be in the office, being available for the voters,” Grabovsky said.

Watch more from both candidates vying for Indiana’s 7th Congressional District in the video above.