May 2020 Primary Indiana 5th Congressional District candidates questions

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Who’s running for the 5th Congressional District?

Jennifer Christie (D)
  • Age: 48
  • Education: B.S. chemistry, honors (Purdue University)
    B.A. Biology (Purdue University)
    Minor mathematics
    MBB statistical process improvement (Six Sigma & Lean)
  • Occupation: Scientist. I have worked an environmental chemist for EPA contract labs, grassroots organizer and outdoor educator for non-profit environmental organizations, a process improvement leader for a clinical research organization, and a business owner. I currently teach community science classes.
  • City of residence: Indianapolis (Pike Township)
  • Immediate family: I have been married to my husband for 18 years. We have four young children (all Elementary-school age, one daughter and three sons).
  • Previous political experience: I have been an activist on issues of the environment and health care for most of my life, but have never been a politician. This is my first time on the ballot. In 2018, I filed to run but withdrew before the filing deadline as a result of the slating process that Marion County had (this removed me from the primary ballot). This year, there is no slating so voters of all counties in the district will decide who the nominee is in an open election.
  • Website: JenniferForIndiana.com
Christina Hale (D)
  • Age: 48
  • Education: Purdue University, bachelor’s degree
  • Occupation: Service organization executive and community leader
  • City of residence: Indianapolis
  • Immediate family: Husband, Chris; son, Owen; and dogs Grace and Pinecone
  • Previous political experience: Served two terms in the Indiana General Assembly, ran for lieutenant governor in 2016. Since the 1990s, I have served as an active campaign volunteer for others, and as both an elected and appointed precinct committeeperson, and representative to our Democratic State Convention.
  • Website: HaleForCongress.com
Dee Thornton (D)
  • Age: 60
  • Education: I have a Bachelor of Science degree in communication and computer science from the University of Louisville. I have a Master in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan. I am Lean Six Sigma certified.
  • Occupation: Retired after more than 30 years at Xerox Corporation
  • City of residence: Carmel
  • Immediate family: Husband, Don. Three adult children, two daughters-in-law; three grandchildren.
  • Previous political experience: I was the 2018 Democratic Nominee for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District.
  • Website: DeeThorntonForCongress.com.
Andy Jacobs (D)
Andy Jacobs did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Ralph Spelbring (D)
Ralph Spelbring did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Beth Henderson (R)
  • Age: 58
  • Education: Iowa State University; Beth El College of Nursing; University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
  • Occupation: Registered nurse, occupational health, nurse case manager, small business owner (owned and operated a nursing case management company in Indiana). My husband, Terry, and I own and operate an agricultural tech training firm in addition to running our family farm.
  • City of residence: Atlanta
  • Immediate family: Husband, Terry; children, Oliver (27) and Amelia (25)
  • Previous political experience: I am a political outsider – not a career politician. This is the first time I’ve run for office, and I plan to be a citizen legislator. I also support term limits and have signed the U.S. Term Limits pledge in this campaign.
  • Website: BethForIndiana.com
Kelly Maureen Mitchell (R)
  • Age: 52
  • Education:
    Bachelor’s Arts in Political Science – Valparaiso University
    Master’s of Philanthropic Studies – Indiana University
    Master’s of Strategic Studies – U.S. Army War College
  • Occupation: Indiana Treasurer of State
  • City of residence: Carmel
  • Immediate family: Husband, Larry; son, Colin (24); daughter, Chloe (27)
  • Previous political experience:
    Cass County Commissioner – (1997-2004)
    Indiana Treasurer of State – (2014-Present)
  • Website: HoosiersForKelly.com
Carl Brizzi (R)
  • Age: 52
  • Education: I attended Indiana University and received my law degree from Valparaiso University where I was awarded the Judge Swygert Moot Court Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy and named as “Outstanding Young Alumnus” by Valparaiso School of Law.
  • Occupation: Attorney
  • City of residence: Fishers
  • Immediate family:  My wife Kim and I are parents to six “mostly grown” children: Catherine, Emily, Cooper, Lauren, Haley and CJ. 
  • Previous political experience: I served as Marion County prosecutor from 2003-2010 where I successfully led many high-profile prosecutions against violent offenders. I managed and developed a team of more than 350 total employees and managed a publicly-funded and transparent budget in excess of $24 million dollars. The Marion County prosecutor’s office under my leadership achieved some of the highest conviction rates in the country for violent offenders. As Marion County prosecutor, after a bank robbery resulted in the death of a teller’s unborn twins, I spearheaded the effort that led to Indiana’s Senate Bill 236. SB 236 provides that a person who while committing or attempting to commit murder or felony murder, causes the termination of a pregnancy is subject to an additional six to 20 years in prison.
  • Website: VoteBrizzi.com
VIctoria Spartz (R)
  • Age: 41
  • Education: MBA, MPA
  • Occupation: CPA and farmer
  • City of residence: Noblesville
  • Immediate family: Husband, Jason, and two daughters.
  • Previous political experience: Indiana State Senator
  • Website: VictoriaSpartz.com
Dr. Chuck Dietzen (R)
  • Age: 58
  • Education:
    Distinguished Alum, Indiana University School of Medicine, MD
    Distinguished Alum, Purdue University, Bachelor of Science – Agriculture
    Honorary Doctorate from the University of Indianapolis
  • Occupation: Physical medicine and rehabilitation physician, author, speaker, global humanitarian and entrepreneur
  • City of residence: Zionsville
  • Previous political experience: I am not a career politician, this is my first candidacy for public office.
    Quaterback, chief of staff, medical director
  • Website: drchuckforcongress.com
Micah Beckwith (R)
  • Age: 37
  • Education: BS business management and economics
  • Occupation: Worship pastor, small business owner
  • City of residence: Noblesville
  • Immediate family: Wife, Susan; son, Brody; daughter, Savannah
  • Previous political experience: I have been a delegate for the past four years in the Indiana Republican Party as well as a vice precinct committeeman.
  • Website: Beckwith4Congress.com
Allen R. Davidson (R)
  • Age: 51
  • Education: Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering; Texas Tech University, May 1991
  • Occupation: Highway engineer; INDOT
  • City of residence: Lawrence
  • Immediate family: One son and one daughter live in Fishers. My mother lives in Cumberland.
  • Previous political experience: Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, 5th Congressional District, in 2014 and 2016 (as a Democrat)
  • Website: ard4in05.com
Matthew (Matt) Hook (R)
  • Age:  62
  • Education:
    Bachelor of Science in accounting, Indiana University (1981)
    Certified Public Accountant certificate (1984)
    Juris Doctorate, Cum laude, Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis (1989)
  • Occupation:  Public accounting (CPA) for eight years, corporate lawyer for 11 years and the last 17 years of my career was a partner in a private equity firm investing in, and sitting on the board of, companies throughout the United States
  • City of residence:  Carmel
  • Immediate family:  Wife, Jody (26 years); Children: Jacob (25), Luke (21), Katy (19), Anna Grace (17), Mary Clare (deceased) and David James (deceased)
  • Previous political experience: None
  • Website: votethefuturenow.com
Danny Niederberger (R)
  • Age: 27
  • Education: Purdue University, BS accounting BS management
  • Occupation: Accountant
  • City of residence: Indianapolis
  • Immediate family: Four older sisters, one older brother, two younger brothers
  • Previous political experience: No previous political experience.
  • Website: dannyniderberger.com and dannyforhoosiers.com
Mark Small
  • Age: 64
  • Education: BA, De Pauw University, 1978; JD, Indiana University-Indianapolis, 1989
  • Occupation: Lawyer
  • City of residence: Indianapolis
  • Contact info: marksmall2001@yahoo.com
Kent Abernathy (R)
  • Age: 63
  • Education: BS – US Military Academy (West Point); MS-management – Oakland City University; Masters of Strategic Studies – US Army War College
  • Occupation:  Retired military; retired banker
  • City of residence: Zionsville
  • Immediate family: wife, Karen; three grown sons (Justin, Jonathan, Kristopher); three daughters-in-law (Khrissy, Melissa, Stephanie); four grandchildren (Brooke, Kate, Beau and Abigail)
  • Previous political experience: First time candidate; I did serve in leadership roles in the administrations of Gov. Mitch Daniels and Gov. Mike Pence as chief of staff of Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management and later as commissioner of Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles where I lead transformational change that simplified and streamlined operations leading to a 96.3 percent customer (citizen) satisfaction rating.
  • Web: kentabernathy.com
Andrew Bales (R)
  • Age:  54
  • Education:  BS education, IU 1996
  • Occupation:  Retired teacher
  • City of residence:  Indianapolis (Washington Township)
  • Family:  Daughters, Amanda; Lucy; and Sydney.  Mother, Ellen Bales.
  • Previous political experience:
    Committeeman – Wayne Township (2000)
    President – The Islands Homeowner’s Association
  • Website: balesforcongress.com
Matthew Hullinger (R)
  • Age: 31
  • Education: Some college
  • Occupation: CSR
  • City of residence: Carmel
  • Immediate family: Father, mother, two sisters and my son.
  • Website: facebook.com/electmatthewhullinger/
Russell H. Stwalley (R)
Russell H. Stwalley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Victor Wakley (R)
Victor Wakley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Ken Tucker (I)
  • Age: 40
  • Education: BA from Purdue University
  • Occupation: Stay-at-home dad
  • City of residence: Westfield
  • Immediate family: Wife, Missy. Daughters, Stella and Geri.
  • Previous political experience: Registered and active voter since age 18
  • Website: tuckerforindiana.com

Why do you want to run for office?

Jennifer Christie (D)

After seeing a lack of leadership on critical issues such as the climate crisis, health care and income inequality, I decided to run to make real change – to solve the climate crisis, guarantee health care as a human right to every American, and to have a government and an economy that works for working people. We are running out of time to solve these issues and cannot afford politics as usual. We need real action based in science and justice. We need scientists and moms at the decision-making table so I’m running to fight for real solutions to our toughest problems.

Christina Hale (D)

There are so many challenges before the people of Indiana, but I’m a problem solver and I get things done. As a state legislator, throughout my career, and as a single mom with a little kid to raise – having to put myself and my son through school at the same time – I’ve been able to identify those problems and work with anyone and everyone to get the job done. We need more of that in Washington and that’s exactly what I’m going to do when I’m elected to serve.

Dee Thornton (D)

We need leadership in Washington that listens to the concerns of everyone and works for what is right, not just for their political party and special interests.

Andy Jacobs (D)
Andy Jacobs did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Ralph Spelbring (D)
Ralph Spelbring did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Beth Henderson (R)

I have lived, worked and raised a family in the 5th district for 30 years. My background and experience in starting and managing three successful businesses in healthcare and agriculture have uniquely prepared me to serve the people of Indiana in Congress. I decided to run because I feel a responsibility to my fellow Hoosiers to give back and serve those who have helped make our American dream possible. With the onset of the coronavirus crisis, it’s become even more clear to me that now more than ever we need nurses in Congress.

Kelly Maureen Mitchell (R)

I decided to run for Congress because I fear losing the America I grew up in, where my choices created my future. This race is critical.  Nancy Pelosi and national Democrats are targeting this seat.  Now more than ever, we must nominate a leader with integrity, someone with a proven record, who knows how to win tough elections and comes to the table with solutions, not soundbites.

Carl Brizzi (R)

I believe our liberty is in peril. The freedoms intended for us by the founding fathers are under attack by hard left elite politicians who believe they have a monopoly on truth. Real freedom means being free from force or fraud, whether committed by criminals or by extreme progressives bent on controlling us and consolidating power.

I am running for Congress because freedom’s greatest hour of danger is now – not for a job or vanity project. I am a battle tested, experienced, tough prosecutor who knows what’s right and isn’t afraid to fight those who exploit fear and steal liberty. Our Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms are under constant attack and I’m ready to enter the battle and defend our families.

Too often, our elected officials stray from the fundamentals, forgetting what it is that made America exceptional. The citizens of the Fifth District deserve representation that is tested, tough and willing to hold the line to preserve the essential principles of the Constitution.

Victoria Spartz (R)

To deliver free enterprise solutions and fix Congress.

Dr. Chuck Dietzen (R)

My deep conviction to our community and to making sure we leave the world a better place for the children is what motivates me. Some important and far-reaching issues will be decided in Washington in the near future and I want to see healthcare that works for all people. Socialized medicine does not work. I want our families and communities to thrive — to do that we must protect our constitutional freedoms.

Micah Beckwith (R)

I am running for Congress because I feel called to.  I don’t believe our current makeup of Congress is doing enough to support Constitutional values and responsibilities.  Congress should be making fewer laws constraining individual rights while sending a majority of the issues back to the states to solve.  The federal government overreach is very real and I want to be a voice to end as much of it as I can.

Allen R. Davidson (R)

It has been an ambition of mine since I was a teenager to become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Matthew (Matt) Hook (R)

I am very concerned about the fiscal and environmental issues we are leaving future generations.  This includes our national debt of $23 trillion and Medicare and Social Security programs the government is forecasting to be insolvent in seven and 15 years, respectively.  Additionally, I am frustrated by the special interest payments to politicians which have led to, among other things, runaway healthcare costs twice that of what other developed countries pay as a percentage of GDP, even though we have shorter life expectancies.   

Danny Niederberger (R)

Each of the five pillars of my campaign. I believe we are at a crossroads in every single one of these areas, and my professional background provides the best experience to fix these issues.

Mark Small

To salvage the GOP from bigotry and ignorance.

Kent Abernathy (R)

Duty – Honor – Country.  The West Point motto is one of the first things you learn as a cadet and has been the guiding principle in my life. I am running for Congress because I believe we need leaders in Washington who put country first and focus on providing solutions.

Andrew Bales (R)

I’ve served all my life.  Thirteen years in the U.S. Army and National Guard and 15 years as a public school teacher. I decided to run for office because our country is in crisis. Federal spending is out of control; our Constitution is under attack; affordable healthcare is nearly out of reach for the average citizen, our borders have been so compromised as to put our nation at risk, and we’ve witnessed an attempted coup of a sitting president. My sense of duty to my country calls me to run, to win and to fix this!

Matthew Hullinger (R)

I believe Hoosiers deserve someone who will truly represent their interests.

Russell H. Stwalley (R)
Russell H. Stwalley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Victor Wakley (R)
Victor Wakley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Ken Tucker (I)

To give a real voice to the people of the 5th District.


What issues will your campaign focus on?

Jennifer Christie (D)

I am committed to solving the climate crisis, Medicare for all and transforming our economy to work for everyday families. We are running out of time to solve the climate crisis with only a few years to transition away from fossil fuels. I have released a climate agenda (see my website) which has specific actions that will achieve the necessary decarbonization to save the planet. Meanwhile, we have a health care system that leaves over 30 million Americans uninsured and twice as many underinsured. (And that number just increased significantly with the millions of people who just lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) We must guarantee healthcare as a human right and pass Medicare For All to give every American the security and freedom of guaranteed healthcare. Our economy was already showing cracks and will be even more broken from COVID-19. We will have to be more innovative than ever before; by passing a Green New Deal and solving the climate crisis, we will create tens of millions of good jobs and transform our economy for generations. We are going to need those tens of millions of jobs after the coronavirus crisis. The best stimulus we could do is to create a resilient green economy and lead the world in energy innovation to solve the climate crisis.

Christina Hale (D)

Health care, public safety, jobs and the environment.

Dee Thornton (D)

Our nation faces many challenges — a major public health crisis, rising healthcare costs, insufficient support for education, increasing gun violence, crumbling infrastructures and pressing threats to our environment and economy. Difficult as these challenges are, we can resolve them with effective leadership and working together. Throughout the history of our country, Americans have risen to the occasion time after time, and I have no doubt that we will do it again.

Andy Jacobs (D)
Andy Jacobs did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Ralph Spelbring (D)
Ralph Spelbring did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Beth Henderson (R)

With the COVID-19 crisis, healthcare is certainly at the top of my campaign’s focus. I know firsthand the challenges patients face when seeking care and will be first and foremost an advocate for them. We can have both quality and affordability in health care – attaining that combination will be the goal of any policy I advocate for.

As a businesswoman, I also care about the government being a good steward of your tax dollars. The late Sen. Tom Coburn was a family friend of ours, and I hope to carry on his tradition of producing a “Waste Report” to ensure spending accountability within the federal government. I also support the idea of moving federal departments out of Washington D.C. into the states to decrease wasteful spending and promote economic development in the regions that the departments would be run most efficiently.

I will also be a strong and steady voice in favor of capitalism and against the socialist direction that liberal politicians are trying to take us in. I know – because I lived it – that the American dream is achievable through hard work and a level playing field enforced by a limited and Constitutional federal government.

Kelly Maureen Mitchell (R)

Our nation’s fiscal health is in crisis. Immigration is broken. Healthcare costs continue to skyrocket, and every day there are new threats to our national security. I’m proud of my record of bringing positive results to Hoosier families and I want a seat at the table in Congress to work toward solving these issues.

Carl Brizzi (R)

Liberty is a precious inheritance for Americans. The Constitutional principles that serve as our country’s foundation must be defended continuously. Not just from outside forces, but also from those within seeking to erode the fundamental rights essential to our country’s commitment to individual liberty. 

The Second Amendment guarantees the right to “keep and bear arms” and being permitted to “speak one’s mind,” the freedom of expression guaranteed by The First Amendment, are among the fundamental liberties under attack from those who believe they know best what we should say and how we should live.

These essential rights are just two examples of issues most important to me.  Maintaining these rights requires vigilance. The effort, and sometimes pain associated with maintaining these rights doesn’t diminish their value, nor does it diminish the government’s obligation to respect them. In other words, rights are expensive because they are worth having.

Too often, our elected officials stray from the fundamentals, forgetting what it is that made America exceptional. The citizens of the Fifth District deserve representation that is tested, tough and willing to hold the line to preserve the essential principles of the Constitution.

Victoria Spartz (R)

Debt, health care, education and immigration.

Dr. Chuck Dietzen (R)
  • Healthcare
  • ProLife
  • Immigration
  • Second amendment
Micah Beckwith (R)

Our campaign is about the people and being their voice.  I believe we need to bring back conservative, Constitutional values to our society.  We need a congressman to fight for what is right, to call out bad legislation and to protect individual rights and freedoms.  Our campaign is focused on our God-given rights to freedom, to life, to protect ourselves and have fewer government intrusions into our lives.

Allen R. Davidson (R)

If elected in 2020, I will focus on restoring our economy to where it was before the coronavirus crisis, alleviating the college debt crisis, improving our infrastructure and simplifying our environmental regulations.

Matthew (Matt) Hook (R)

Reducing the $1 trillion annual deficits, reducing healthcare costs and addressing climate change.

Danny Niederberger (R)
  • Protecting the rights of the unborn
  • Reducing government debt
  • Protecting the second amendment
  • Instituting term limits in congress
  • Reforming education
Mark Small

Women’s reproductive rights; reduction in military spending; protection of the environment; banning of TIFs and subsidies for professional sports; legalization of drugs

Kent Abernathy (R)

Defending the Constitution, supporting our military, honoring our veterans and paying down our debt.

Andrew Bales (R)

I believe Hoosiers are concerned with the cost of health care and health coverage.  They’re concerned about their jobs and the economy coming back to life.  I will fight to bring back good jobs for Hoosiers, manufacturing jobs and farming jobs.  Further, I am pro-life, pro second amendment. I’m for reducing our debt and the size of government, securing our borders, and for removing cannabis from the federal controlled substances list.

Matthew Hullinger (R)

Pro second amendment, pro-life, lowering taxes and restructuring the welfare system.

Russell H. Stwalley (R)
Russell H. Stwalley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Victor Wakley (R)
Victor Wakley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Ken Tucker (I)

I will protect our civil liberties while focusing my time on education, equality, and the environment. My hope is to bring real change to our political system by a pragmatic approach to the issues facing us and  focusing all my time on what is best for the people of Indiana’s 5th Congressional District.


What are your qualifications for this office?

Jennifer Christie (D)

As a scientist and innovation leader, I have managed teams and projects all over the world working with diverse groups to implement solutions to complex problems. Politicians have failed to listen to scientists on critical issues of health, climate change, and more – we need more scientists at the table. As a working mom of young children, I know firsthand what it is like to raise children in this challenging time – we need mor moms at the table.

Christina Hale (D)

Having worked for many years in leadership for a global organization dedicated to supporting global health and children, as well as in community and economic development and education, I applied this experience to solving problems and getting effective legislation passed and funded in the Indiana General Assembly. My work is reflected in laws that protect kids from violent predators, support small businesses, protect our water and help students become more employable.

Dee Thornton (D)

My education, work and life experience have provided broad knowledge of national and international events and policies. Through my long career in business, I have learned how to work with very diverse people to achieve common goals. I communicate well and am well-prepared debate issues with the Republican nominee in the general election. I am committed to devoting my time to public service for the benefit of everyone in Indiana’s 5th District. I will bring principled leadership of honesty, integrity and ethics. I will be accountable and accessible to my constituents as I work on family-centered policies that make life better for everyone.

Andy Jacobs (D)
Andy Jacobs did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Ralph Spelbring (D)
Ralph Spelbring did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Beth Henderson (R)

My life experience and success as a nurse and an entrepreneur who has started and run three successful small businesses qualify me well for this position. I also have extensive experience in agriculture and understand how important the industry is to our district.

Kelly Maureen Mitchell (R)

My experience as state treasurer gives me a unique set of skills that are sorely needed in Washington. Our nation’s fiscal health is in crisis. I’m proud to partner with Gov. (Eric) Holcomb to secure Indiana’s fiscal stability and success and I will take that experience to Washington to ensure we put our country on a sustainable fiscal path.

Carl Brizzi (R)

In addition to what’s already been stated. I am not running because I need a job or as a vanity project. I have real concerns about the anti-Trump texts by some FBI officials, and the corruption at the Justice Department regarding FISA warrants exposed by recent hearings. Trust in the rule of law is essential to American life. My experience as a prosecutor, as well as, a deep understanding of the issues uniquely qualifies me for this office. 

Victoria Spartz (R)

CPA, finance executive, farmer, business owner and legislator.

Dr. Chuck Dietzen (R)

A career of medical service both clinically and administratively. Over 20 years of work providing high quality, budgeted healthcare to underserved populations, creating and running successful businesses that provide solutions and jobs, appointment by then Gov. Mike Pence to help pass legislation of HB 1145 – a bill that provides for liability protection for licensed volunteer health care providers in Indiana – as a solution for providing needed services to Hoosiers who cannot afford adequate medical care.

Micah Beckwith (R)

My qualifications for this office revolve around my education and my life experiences.  I am a history and Constitutional scholar.  I thirst for knowledge and seek truth in all I do.  My experience as a small business owner has given me the knowledge of how the federal government’s decisions impact our bottom lines.  My experience as a community pastor has given me the opportunity to hear what is really going on in so many of our constituents’ lives.  I’m on the front line in hearing about what people are struggling with in life and how government plays a role in it.

Allen R. Davidson (R)

I have been working for INDOT for almost 13 years and previously worked at IDEM for more than 14 years. I have unique experience solving problems, streamlining processes and improving efficiency at two Indiana state agencies.

Matthew (Matt) Hook (R)

My depth of experience, including my involvement with over 20 companies in various industries as an investor and at the board level, as a CPA providing auditing and consulting services to the healthcare industry and my practice of law for over 11 years. 

Danny Niederberger (R)

I have directed entire accounting and operations apartments, and I understand the challenges small businesses face in this economy.

Mark Small

I have attained the age of 25 years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States. U.S. Constitution, Art. I, sec. 2.

Kent Abernathy (R)

I believe my broad experience and demonstrated record of success in business, the military and state and federal government has given me a unique perspective and positioned me as the candidate best able to represent the citizens of the 5th District.

Andrew Bales (R)

I am a father, a grandfather, a retired teacher and Persian Gulf veteran.  I’ve served my country and my community most of my adult life.  I’ve been poor and I’ve seen success in the middle class.  I’ve worked in factories, classrooms and in the worst of conditions around the world. Service in Congress is complex.  It takes someone with well-rounded and proven qualifications, including the ability to extend a hand, yet the firmness to know when to fight.  I am that candidate.

As a soldier I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.  It is an ongoing promise to a nation that has afforded me a lifetime of achievement.  It’s payback time!

Matthew Hullinger (R)

Did not answer

Russell H. Stwalley (R)
Russell H. Stwalley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Victor Wakley (R)
Victor Wakley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Ken Tucker (I)

I’m a college-educated former public school teacher. I love nothing more than learning. I can read, write, and communicate with people of all genders, races, orientations, religions, ethnicities and however else people like to characterize themselves.


What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

Jennifer Christie (D)

I am the only scientist and mother of young children on the ballot, as well as the only candidate to lead on climate action, support Medicare For All and a Green New Deal. I have posted a climate agenda and other policy statements which can be found on my website. I am also the only candidate to sign the “No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge” and to refuse corporate PAC money.

Christina Hale (D)

I am the only person in this Democratic primary who has legislative experience. Further, I am the only Democratic candidate with the experience of representing tens of thousands of people here in the general assembly, and the only candidate to have operated an active and effective constituent services program for the people I was elected to represent.

Dee Thornton (D)

I am the only candidate that has run a federal Congressional campaign. I came within eight points of victory against a three-term incumbent.

Andy Jacobs (D)
Andy Jacobs did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Ralph Spelbring (D)
Ralph Spelbring did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Beth Henderson (R)

I am a lifelong Republican who has lived and worked in the 5th District for 30 years. My career in occupational nursing and agribusiness, with my skills as a successful entrepreneur in the private sector, along with my background where I’ve had to manage people, formulate business and care plans, meet payroll and balance budgets give me a background that nobody else in this race has.

Kelly Maureen Mitchell (R)

My experiences as a county commissioner and as a statewide elected official give me unique insight among this field of candidates about the diverse set of issues and challenges Hoosiers face.

Carl Brizzi (R)

Republicans cannot lose this seat. As a Republican prosecutor with some of the highest conviction rates in the country, I am the only candidate with a proven track record of winning tough elections. I won back to back elections in Democrat-leaning Marion County. The Fifth Congressional District, like Marion County, is becoming increasingly “purple” with a shifting demographic just like my previous races. I am an experienced, tested, tough prosecutor with a demonstrated ability to win and hold this seat.

The last few years have led to a break from politics. Watching from the private sector, my pubic life was limited to studying, writing and podcasting about these issues with an eye toward defending our Constitution and the fundamental values that make America great.

Victoria Spartz (R)

Delivered results and contributed to the 5th District at every level: business, civic, political and legislative.

Dr. Chuck Dietzen (R)

I am a lifelong Hoosier with a proven track record of providing quality healthcare solutions both locally and globally. I am a successful entrepreneur and understand the challenges of starting and growing a business. 

Micah Beckwith (R)

My unique background and experiences are two things that set me apart from the other candidates.  However, the biggest difference is that I have the values of the older generation and can articulate and pass down those values to the next generations unlike other candidates.  If we don’t find a way to fight for conservative values in a way that is relevant to the younger generations, we could easily find ourselves lost as a country.  It’s not enough to just win the next election. We must win the next generation. I’m the conservative influencer who can win that battle.  We cannot allow for the expansion of the acceptance of socialism. I’m the only candidate that can bridge the gap and provide Conservative leadership for future generations.

Allen R. Davidson (R)

I have many success stories in my years of public service to Hoosiers but cannot list them all. My work currently saves INDOT tens of millions of dollars in reduced long-term maintenance expenses, and my work at IDEM helped businesses wait less time for air pollution permits and begin construction projects sooner.

Matthew (Matt) Hook (R)

I believe most candidates have forgotten that Congress is meant to be a check on the executive branch of government and not a rubber stamp for a political party.  Additionally, my extensive financial and business background as well as an analytical and data-driven approach to solving problems are great strengths.

Danny Niederberger (R)

I have a clear platform that is easy to understand and is based on facts. I am not using this as a stepping stone in my career but as an opportunity to bring transparency and accountability to Congress.

Mark Small

I am pro-choice, pro-environment and anti-war. I also am the only real conservative candidate in the GOP primary for the 5th.

Kent Abernathy (R)

I am the solution candidate.  I have and will continue to travel the entire district to meet and listen to as many citizens as possible to better understand the issues.  I have a demonstrated record of bringing together stakeholders to drive toward getting solutions, just like I did as BMV commissioner, for example.

Andrew Bales (R)

I believe voters will respect that fact that I am funding my own campaign.  I believe in actual solutions, not constant bickering over politics.  Further, I support legalization of marijuana.  My fellow candidates stop at leaving it up to the states, but as long as cannabis is illegal federally, it can never be truly legal in any state.

Matthew Hullinger (R)

I am not afraid to stand up others in Washington and will not back down if challenged.

Russell H. Stwalley (R)
Russell H. Stwalley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Victor Wakley (R)
Victor Wakley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Ken Tucker (I)

First, I’ve never asked. Nor will I ask you for any money.

Second, I’m not a politician.

Third, I offer complete transparency and a true open line of communication from me to you.

In closing, the only thing I’ll ever ask of you is your time. I hope to earn your vote.


How long have you lived in the 5th District?

Jennifer Christie (D)

Over 20 years.

Christina Hale (D)

I have lived here for more than 20 years.

Dee Thornton (D)

29 years.

Andy Jacobs (D)
Andy Jacobs did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Ralph Spelbring (D)
Ralph Spelbring did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Beth Henderson (R)

For the last 30 years: starting in Cicero from 1990 to 1999, then moving to Zionsville (1999-2007), and currently Atlanta since 2007.

Kelly Maureen Mitchell (R)

I am a proud resident of Carmel. Before purchasing a home in Carmel last year, I lived in Indianapolis for more than 15 years, where my children attended North Central High School.

Carl Brizzi (R)

My entire adult life.

Victoria Spartz (R)

20 years, since immigrated to the U.S.

Dr. Chuck Dietzen (R)

22 years in Kokomo

26 years in Carmel and Zionsville

Micah Beckwith (R)

I have lived in Noblesville for the past 15 years, serving the community in various ministry and business related roles to make our community the best it can be.

Allen R. Davidson (R)

Eight years.

Matthew (Matt) Hook (R)

25 years

Danny Niederberger (R)

My entire life, except the two years I spent in Miami, Fla.

Mark Small

I have lived in the same house nearly 25 years. I believe the 5th District has moved back and forth a couple of times.

Kent Abernathy (R)

Since 1992

Andrew Bales (R)

My girlfriend and I purchased our house last spring in Washington Township.

Matthew Hullinger (R)

Out of the last 13 years, I have lived in the 5th district for 11 of them.

Russell H. Stwalley (R)
Russell H. Stwalley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Victor Wakley (R)
Victor Wakley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Ken Tucker (I)

14 years


What other organizations are you involved with?

Jennifer Christie (D)

I have been involved with several national and local environmental organizations most of my life, including the Sierra Club, which I once worked for. I am involved with the Girl Scouts as a Brownie Troop Leader and mom. I also have Cub Scouts at home. I am active in my church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, as a Sunday school teacher as well as in the music ministry. I am also involved in grant funding  committees that have funded organizations such as Trinity Haven, IYG, Craine House and other important community organizations. My family is involved in the performing arts in Carmel, including five years of The Nutcracker and other performances.

Christina Hale (D)

Over the years I have volunteered for, donated to and served in leadership for many cause-related local organizations, including the Indiana Commission on Latino & Hispanic Affairs, Indiana InternNet, Indiana Humanities, Heartland Film and the Domestic Violence Network. My most active involvement today is with a board I helped to found and continue to serve on, the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking.

I am an Indiana Chamber of Commerce Small Business Champion, an Indianapolis Business Journal Woman of Influence, a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar, and was honored to be named the inaugural Indianapolis Junior League Woman of the Year.

Dee Thornton (D)
  • Mayor of Carmel’s Commission on Human Relations
  • Board of Madison County 4-H Extension
  • Board of Families First
Andy Jacobs (D)
Andy Jacobs did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Ralph Spelbring (D)
Ralph Spelbring did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Beth Henderson (R)
  • Indiana Nurses Association
  • Executive Board of Directors Boy Scouts of America
  • Executive Board of Directors Hamilton Heights Youth Assistance
  • Indiana Farm Bureau Member
  • NRA/NRA Women
Kelly Maureen Mitchell (R)

As well as serving as Indiana’s Chief Investment officer, I also sit on 14 different boards including serving as chair of Indiana 911, vice chair of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and vice chair of the Indiana Finance Authority. I am also national chair of the State Financial Officers Foundation.

Carl Brizzi (R)

NRA, Liberty Fund, Mont Pellerin Society, Bastiat Society.

Victoria Spartz (R)

A variety of civic, political and professional organizations.

Dr. Chuck Dietzen (R)
  • American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Timmy Global Health
  • Easterseals Crossroads
  • Bradford Woods
  • Indiana State Medical Association
Micah Beckwith (R)

My passion has been raising up the next generation to be able to use their God-given talents and interests when it comes to the arts and musical performance. I own Sing Love Ministries, and when not tending to my duties as a pastor, as a husband and as a father, my time is spent teaching and training the next generation to increase their skills as musicians, singers, performers and servant leaders.

Allen R. Davidson (R)

I’m a licensed professional engineer in Indiana and Texas.

Matthew (Matt) Hook (R)

Chairman of The Villages of Indiana (fostercare, adoption and prevention of child abuse), Second Helpings (hunger relief), Brightwood Community (tutoring) and St. Mark’s United Methodist Church.

Danny Niederberger (R)

Did not answer.

Mark Small

Did not answer

Kent Abernathy (R)

American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, West Point Society of Indiana (past president), Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Andrew Bales (R)
  • National Rifle Association
  • National Association for Gun Rights
  • The American Legion
  • NORML – National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
  • #MAGA2020
Matthew Hullinger (R)

Did not answer.

Russell H. Stwalley (R)
Russell H. Stwalley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Victor Wakley (R)
Victor Wakley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Ken Tucker (I)
  • Citizens Climate Lobby
  • The Circle City Greens
  • The Green Party of Indiana
  • ISTA
  • NEA
  • Noblesville Teacher Forum

Something most people don’t know about you?

Jennifer Christie (D)

Here are a couple:

  1. I was a foster mom for many years.
  2. I am an avid wildlife and native plant enthusiast and have traveled extensively throughout South, Central and North America to study and observe plants and animals in rainforests and temperate forests. My husband and I were married in the rainforest in Central America.
Christina Hale (D)

I have auditioned for and been rejected by the television program Survivor. Let’s just say … more than once.

Dee Thornton (D)

In addition to my career at Xerox, I have owned two small businesses. One was a Personalized Books business, and the other was in women’s fitness – Visibly Fit

Andy Jacobs (D)
Andy Jacobs did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Ralph Spelbring (D)
Ralph Spelbring did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Beth Henderson (R)

I love animals large and small! I raise Belgian draft horses, miniature horses, alpacas, goats along with other livestock on our farm in Atlanta. I use my animals in therapy programs for youth, special needs and senior organizations. They are a big part of our life – as are our dogs Elsa, Earl, Dixie and Diogi.

Kelly Maureen Mitchell (R)

I was born on a naval base and raised by a single mother on a farm in rural Illinois. The apartment we rented was rumored to be a converted chicken coup (but I like to joke that I never found any feathers)! We had no car and no TV, but we had plenty of books and a farm to explore. I was also the first in my family to graduate from college.

Carl Brizzi (R)

I believe in God, family, limited government and all the freedoms and liberties intended by the founding fathers. I believe in being self-reliant, self-educated and being a student of history. Most of all I pay attention. I loathe hypocrisy and political correctness. I also believe that progressives, those who believe that they know what’s best and want to tell us how to live and what to say and think, are dangerous and I will fight them with my last breath. These are some of the reasons I am running for Congress.

Victoria Spartz (R)

With enough coffee nothing is impossible!

Dr. Chuck Dietzen (R)
  • Former pro wrestler

  • First quarterback in UAB history

Micah Beckwith (R)

Most people probably don’t know that I have a Harley Sportster and I love to ride it.

Allen R. Davidson (R)

My current hobbies include hiking, visiting wineries, playing an online RPG video game and riding a vintage motorcycle from the 1970s.

Matthew (Matt) Hook (R)

When I was a young man I rode my bicycle from southern Oregon to Vancouver Canada.

Danny Niederberger (R)

After graduating from Purdue University, I paid off almost $20,000 in student debt in less than 12 months. I was living on my own with no financial assistance from anyone.

Mark Small

Did not answer

Kent Abernathy (R)

I met Mitch Daniels in Baghdad, Iraq

Andrew Bales (R)

I play guitar, enjoy fishing and outdoor activities.  I love to read and analyze U.S. History.  I was once in a commercial for a bicycle shop.

Matthew Hullinger (R)

Did not answer.

Russell H. Stwalley (R)
Russell H. Stwalley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Victor Wakley (R)
Victor Wakley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Ken Tucker (I)

My last name should be Montasiewicz, but really I’m a Lopez.


Something you want people to know about you?

Jennifer Christie (D)

I am an optimist and believe in the power of creative thinking and collaborative innovation. Our minds are our most powerful weapon to solve our toughest challenges, but this requires a focus on solutions instead of power. We have watched politicians squander valuable time and resources while failing to work on the most important things. Like most Americans, I am tired of the self-serving politics and have no interest or patience for playing political games. This is not a game. We need genuine selfless leadership to cut through the (fill in the blank).

Christina Hale (D)

I respect this as an urgent opportunity to get good things done for people.

Dee Thornton (D)

I am an independent thinker, with diverse experiences and skills, including many years in business. I am uniquely prepared to unify our current political divide, and do what’s right and best to support the needs of the most diverse Congressional District in the State of Indiana.

Andy Jacobs (D)
Andy Jacobs did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Ralph Spelbring (D)
Ralph Spelbring did not return a completed Q&A as of press time
Beth Henderson (R)

As a nurse, I have a calling and a passion to care for people. I will take that commitment to Congress where I will be dedicated and a persistent advocate for the wellbeing and livelihood of the wonderful people of Indiana’s 5th District.

Kelly Maureen Mitchell (R)

When you send me to Washington, you send a fighter. A fighter equipped with a heart for you, a head for sound fiscal policy and an unwavering determination to save the promise of America for us and for those who will come after us.

Carl Brizzi (R)

The coronavirus outbreak underscores the fact that the U.S. needs to break its dependence on China. President Trump correctly identified that China was a threat to American workers and American national security. His move to ban non-American arrivals from China in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak has saved thousands of lives in the U.S.

The President was ridiculed for the travel ban and called a “racist,” but science and common sense were on his side. As your representative, I will continue to support President Trump in his efforts to confront China on human rights, theft of intellectual property and trade abuses.

The coronavirus crisis also validates the border security agenda of the president which is also an important component of my platform. Closing the country off to travelers from areas affected by the outbreak is one of the most effective steps that we can take to limit its spread within our country. President Trump wasted no time in implementing that safeguard.

At this point, I am hopeful we can all agree on the importance of knowing whether people entering the United States from overseas might pose a security threat to American citizens.

Victoria Spartz (R)

Relentless fighter who grew up in a socialistic system and has an enormous appreciation for the individual liberties our constitutional republic provides.

Dr. Chuck Dietzen (R)

My faith and the children are my priorities.

Micah Beckwith (R)

I want people to know that even if we disagree on a particular policy stance, they can trust that I will do my research, fight boldly for their families, work hard every single day to represent them as best as I can, and most of all, that I will listen to their concerns.

Allen R. Davidson (R)

The 5th District is where I first started to run for Congress and I will always remain loyal to the 5th District constituency.

Matthew (Matt) Hook (R)

The death of two children has taught me to focus on my blessings, to understand each day is a gift, to laugh and cry freely and to be more mindful of the suffering of others.

Danny Niederberger (R)

I am exactly who I claim to be. I am not a career politician, I am not running as a stepping stone in my career, and I am not running  to get 15 seconds of fame in front of the cameras. I am running to bring transparency and accountability to congress.

Mark Small

Did not answer

Kent Abernathy (R)

I flew four different types of helicopters in the Army

Andrew Bales (R)

I do not consider myself a politician.  I am an average citizen who is fed up with the way our government is working, or rather, not working.  The issues in this election are perpetual, meaning it’s the same thing over and over again.  It’s time to fix the nonsense and move on!  Our border and immigration/DACA problem should have been fixed by now.  Government has been talking about fixing the debt and our spending for as long as I can remember, yet here we are, $23 trillion and growing.  Finally, never again will our nation sell our security for the highest bid.  National security cannot be “Made in China”.

Matthew Hullinger (R)

Did not answer.

Russell H. Stwalley (R)
Russell H. Stwalley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Victor Wakley (R)
Victor Wakley did not provide a completed Q&A as of press time
Ken Tucker (I)

I genuinely care about you and I really want to make a change in our world. If not for you and this generation, then for my daughters and the next. Because that should be something we all agree upon.


 

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