Spartz changes course, running for re-election

Feb. 5—ANDERSON — Incumbent Congresswoman Victoria Spartz, who announced last year that she would not run for reelection, has changed her mind.

Spartz announced Monday that she will file for reelection in the 5th Congressional District, which includes all of Madison and Delaware counties.

Nine other candidates, including Anderson residents Jonathan Brown and Larry Savage Jr., have declared for the Republican Party nomination in the 5th District. The primary is set for May 7.

"Deciding where your duty lies — family, work, or country, is never an easy task," Spartz said in a press release. "Earlier last year, I decided to take some time off from running for public office to recharge and spend more time in Indiana with my family.

"However, looking where we are today, and urged by many of my constituents, I do not believe I would be able to deliver this Congress, with the current failed leadership in Washington, D.C., on the important issues for our nation that I have worked very hard on," Spartz said.

Russ Willis, chairman of the Madison County Republican Party, expressed disappointment over her decision to seek re-election after announcing not to run in 2023.

"While Congresswoman Victoria Spartz has represented our 5th District well with strong conservative values and voting to support those values on important issues, several other candidates have filed and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on their campaign," he said.

"Frankly, her action is not right, both to those candidates and the voters in the 5th District."

Other candidates who have filed for the GOP nomination include state lawmaker Chuck Goodrich, Max Engling, Mark Hurt, Patrick Malayter, Scott King, JD Powell and Raju Chinthala.

Spartz said Monday that her background as a Ukraine citizen under Soviet rule sets her apart.

"As someone who grew up under tyranny, I understand the significance of these challenging times for our Republic, and if my fellow Hoosiers and God decide, I will be honored to continue fighting for them," she said.

Brian Howey, founder of Howey Politics Indiana and a columnist published weekly in The Herald Bulletin, said he was not surprised by Spartz's decision.

He said Goodrich announced Monday he is staying in the race for the nomination.

"He's (Goodrich) is the guy that will give her a run for the money," Howey said.

Local resident Larry Savage Jr. said Monday that he is staying in the race for the nomination, as well.

"I'm not going to quit," he said. "At first, she said she was foregoing a campaign and is now running. I don't think her heart is in it."

Max Engling said he, too, will remain in the race for the nomination.

"Congresswoman Spartz's well-documented history of waffling on the issues and re-election campaign leaves Indiana families without a principled voice in Congress," he said. "Decisive conservative leadership means standing your ground when it comes to reducing the debt, fighting for Indiana families and getting America back on track.

"I'm in the race to win, and the congresswoman's latest announcement make me more committed than ever to stay in this race," Engling concluded.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.