INDIANAPOLIS – With sixteen candidates seeking the Republican nomination for a seat in the fifth congressional district, it’s a crowded primary field to replace outgoing Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN).
After speaking with three of the contenders last week, two additional Republican candidates, Beth Henderson and Micah Beckwith 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.
Henderson touted a recent campaign event which drew two big name supporters, Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) and former State Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville).
“Beth is very qualified and working hard in a strong field of candidates,” Braun told us in a statement.
Henderson also responded to a recent report, revealing that she made a $1,000 contribution to Democratic Senator Evan Bayh’s campaign in 2002.
“That was 18 years ago, my husband and I started an agriculture business. Bayh was involved with the agriculture and biotech initiative programs, and being in agriculture, we supported those initiatives,” explained Henderson. “I’ve always been a lifelong Republican.”
We also spoke with Republican candidate Micah Beckwith.
Beckwith considers himself a social conservative, with the backing of former Rep. Marlin Stutzman and Curt Smith of the Indiana Family Institute, who have formed a super PAC for Beckwith’s campaign.
A youth pastor at Northview church, Beckwith wants Republicans to do more to rein in the deficit and wants his party to ‘return to conservative values’ on fiscal issues and social issues.
“I like Susan Brooks as a lady,” he said. “But she’s pretty moderate from a conservative standpoint. Her margins have gotten smaller and smaller over the last 8 years.”
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.
State treasurer Kelly Mitchell is also seeking the GOP nomination, viewed by many pundits as the party establishment favorite.
Former BMV commissioner Kent Abernathy and State Sen. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) are also seeking the nomination along with Andrew Bales, Allen Davidson, Chuck Dietzen, 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.
In the video below, see our full interview with Henderson:
And in the video below, see our entire interview with Beckwith: