INDIANAPOLIS – A former state senator from southern Indiana is campaigning for Rep. Trey Hollingsworth’s House seat in the 9th congressional district.

Republican candidate Erin Houchin recently sat down with IN Focus to share her thoughts on the campaign and the issues shaping Washington.

Houchin says she resigned from her position in the State Senate to focus entirely on the campaign.

Rep. Hollingsworth decided not to seek reelection in Washington, as he considers a potential run for governor. Houchin was previously defeated by Rep. Hollingswoth in the 2016 Republican primary.

This time around, she’s again joined by a crowded field of Republicans vying for the seat.

“I think having been through [2016], it made me a better legislator,” Houchin said. “I think it will make me a better member of Congress.”

Houchin believes she can be a productive voice for the constituents of the 9th district. She promised to push back on what she views as radical ideas from congressional Democrats.

I think now more than ever, we need a conservative fighter pushing back against the administration and the policies of the far left,” Houchin said. “It’s what I hear when I travel the district. People care about border security, they care about inflation, they care about supporting our police.”

Speaking on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Houchin says the United States could’ve done more to plan for the situation. She also criticized U.S. policies that increase dependency on foreign oil. Citing the closure of the Keystone XL Pipeline, Houchin believes it’s time for the U.S. to become more energy independent.

“I think a few missteps were made along the way,” Houchin said. “We’ve long known that Putin is a tyrannical thug intent on restoring the former and failed Soviet Union.”

Houchin also criticized the Biden administration for halting new oil and gas leases in the U.S. She says that decision emboldens the Putin regime to take aggressive actions against Ukraine and the free world.

“I think we need to stand strong with the Ukrainians and the rest of the international community,” Houchin said. “It’s heartening to see that, it’s bipartisan. I just think that we could have done more, and should’ve, to prevent this from happening.”

Watch more from our one-on-one interview with congressional candidate Erin Houchin in the video above.