INDIANAPOLIS - A staggering sixteen candidates are seeking the Republican nomination for a seat in Congress in Indiana's fifth district, to replace outgoing Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN).
Three of those Republican candidates appeared on this week's edition of IN Focus to discuss the crowded primary and some of the issues in the news this past week.
One of the latest candidates to enter the race is a well-known name in local politics, former Marion County prosecutor Carl Brizzi, who left his post as prosecutor in 2010 amidst a series of legal complaints and controversies.
"I decided to run because our liberty is in peril," said Brizzi. "It's important to realize when we talk about past issues, it's ink on paper. There was no there there."
Brizzi feels he is best positioned to win the seat in a district that's been heavily targeted by Democrats this election cycle, with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee backing former State Rep. Christina Hale for its 'Red to Blue' program aimed at flipping congressional districts across the country.
"This district will absolutely be in play," said Brizzi. "Whoever the nominee is is going to have to appeal to Democratic voters and I've done that. I am that guy."
State treasurer Kelly Mitchell is also seeking the GOP nomination, viewed by many pundits as the party establishment favorite.
"It's a wonderful district. It's vibrant, it's diverse," said Mitchell. "Rural, urban, it's got everything. I could see why a lot of people would want the honor of representing the (fifth district)."
In the video below, we also hear from congressional candidate Chuck Dietzen, who was endorsed this past week by former state party chairman Jeff Cardwell.
"I just have a high regard for him and if he's in favor of me, then I feel good about that," said Dietzen.
Former BMV commissioner Kent Abernathy and State Sen. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) are also seeking the nomination along with Andrew Bales, Micah Beckwith, Allen Davidson, Beth Henderson, Matthew Hook, Matthew Hullinger, Mark Jay, Danny Niederberger, Mark Small, Russell Stwalley and Victor Wakley. Other Democrats in the race include 2018 nominee Dee Thornton and Andy Jacobs, the son of former congressman Andy Jacobs, Jr.