Meet the Republican candidates for Indiana’s 5th District


Nine candidates are vying for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District in the Republican primary.

They are:

District 5 includes Hamilton, Madison, Delaware, Grant and Tipton counties, as well as a majority of Howard County. The seat is held by Victoria Spartz, who is running for re-election.

Early voting begins April 8, and the primary election is May 7.

The Republican candidates answered the following questions from Current (those not included had not returned the questionnaire as of March 22).

Why do you want to run for this office?

  • I am running for Congress driven by aspiration, passion and a desire to give back to the country that has given me so much. I am committed to fostering responsible financial management, strengthening our future and enhancing opportunities for Indiana and the next generation. I want to make a positive impact on our community and nation.
  • I am a Christian, husband, father and conservative. I want to secure the future for my four children and the next generation. There are too many urgent issues facing us right now to waste time after this next election. Our district needs a representative that can hit the ground running.
  • Washington D.C. is broken. As a businessman, I can take this much-needed experience to D.C. to make a positive difference for Hoosier families. I will be a workhorse in Congress, not a showhorse. Securing the border, controlling spending and debt, and stopping the liberal agenda. I will focus on serving the people of the 5th district first.
  • I want to move the needle.  Our days are numbered, and I want to glorify God and be a light.    As a compassionate conservative, I focus on servant leadership – being a diligent and disciplined representative who does not squander the people’s money and who works to reduce our national deficit.
  • Like 90 percent of the country, I’m very concerned about many issues going on in the U.S.—including the economy/inflation, the erosion of public safety/the border, and how reaching the American Dream is becoming harder for our young. But the tipping points that got me to file included:

    • A problem in the Republican Party was capable people being too afraid to step-up and get involved.
    • Looking at fellow candidates that had filed, there was no discussion of how they would solve our country’s real problems.
    • The cities I visited with my son outside of the U.S. on a bike trip were safe and clean and people took care of themselves. It was how the U.S. used to be. I felt we needed to reclaim our country.
  • I want to run for office to make sure the people in the communities I serve know that their voice is heard. I am tired of broken promises. I’m tired of going to campaign staff and candidates during elections and having them tell me that my voice matters and then once they get elected the topics I am passionate about no longer matter.
  • I love my country and our people. I’ve seen and experienced firsthand the destruction being done because of open borders and the poison coming into our country. I’m frustrated that our government is not doing more to protect us. So, I want to go to Washington and fight to secure our borders, cut spending and secure our people and our future.
  • I am tired of sending millionaires to Washington, D.C., to represent the poor and middle class. We never get results, we never get the representation for the people and I want that to change. We need to send people in our reflection to Congress and fight for us, the common people. The poor and the middle class are forgotten and it’s time to take the power away from the millionaires buying their way into Washington, D.C., and do what is finally right for us the people.
  • We’ve been governing by crisis and badly need real solutions. As someone who worked on major reforms as a legislator, and spent over a decade in the business world, I know how to get things done. Many constituents urged me to run again, so I could not abandon the Republic.

What sets you apart from your opponents?

  • As an immigrant, I bring 30 years of diverse experience as a speech-language pathologist, treating more than 50,000 patients. I am also a businessman, an international economic advisor and have been involved in local politics for many years. My track record includes attracting more than a billion dollars in foreign direct investment to Indiana, showcasing expertise, leadership and bipartisan collaboration.
  • I have 14-plus years of public service both here and in Washington, DC. My job in Congress was to train representatives (including most of our Indiana members) and build conservative coalitions. I am the only candidate with the experience and drive to actually achieve our conservative goals.
  • As a businessman, I have built a budget, worked within it, signed both sides of a check and employed thousands of workers. In addition, I have a strong conservative record and will not waver or flip-flop on our conservative principles. Voters can trust that I will fight for our shared values, such as securing the border and pushing back against liberal policies fueling inflation.
  • I have seasoned experience at the federal, state and local level.  In Washington DC, I worked with a team to develop health savings accounts.  I drafted amendments that became law, worked on committees, managed floor debate, maintained a president’s veto and served on conference committees.  As an advisor to a Michigan governor,  I worked with the autos, NGA and traveled the state to defeat the Clinton health care plan.  I can start this job running on Day 1.
  • First, I have an excellent reputation for solving tough problems creatively. Second, I differ from opposing candidates on women’s reproductive rights. Let’s be clear, my wife and I have five children – and I believe in the sanctity of life. I believe women should have “the right to choose” in a manner that is safe, legal (up to a point) and rare. Third, I have a grassroots campaign.  I don’t have a spare $2 million to dump in this race. Nor is the republican party or lobbyists funding my campaign. 
  • I’ve been involved with my opponents’ own communities in some aspect throughout my life. From growing up in Grant County and gathering the flags from the VA Cemetery every day, as a part of Cub Scouts, to attending church in Howard County in a little town called Miami, to being a part of the Larry The Can Man journey through life in Anderson, to being a pillar in the Muncie community. Having aged out of foster care, I bring a fresh perspective of a young man who’s goal- and people-driven.
  • I’m the only veteran running in this race; I served in the Navy. I’m the only candidate that signed up to put it all on the line for my country and I am ready to go to D.C., to fight to secure our borders.
  • I am not a millionaire and I feel the pain just like 80 percent of the people in the 5th District. I am tired of being stood on and it’s time for us to fight back. It’s time for real change for the people to stand up and take our country back. We are a republic. This election is one where we the people shall rise up and fight against the filthy swamp animals that occupy Washington, D.C.
  • I grew up under socialist tyranny and have an enormous appreciation for our freedoms. I am also bringing vast business and legislative experience with a proven track record of getting very tough things done for the people – not promoting personal agenda or special interest groups.

What top three issues is your campaign focused on?

  • My campaign prioritizes revitalizing the economy and supporting small businesses, advocating for veterans and improving healthcare accessibility. These critical issues are central to ensuring a brighter future for our community, fostering prosperity and providing opportunities for all residents to thrive and succeed.
  • After talking with Hoosiers around the district and knocking around 1,000 doors for Republican candidates in the 2023 municipal election, it is clear that the top three issues are:

    • Driving down the cost of living
    • Securing our border a
    • Solving the national debt crisis
  • The U.S. must secure the border and finish building the wall to keep our country safe. We need to fight against liberal policies that are driving inflation. We need to ensure election integrity so voters can trust the results. And we need to protect female sports.
  • Border security.   Numbers can not be discussed, and immigration reform implemented, without a secure border that keeps illegal immigrants out.  Budget reform with zero based budgeting is a key – we need to fight socialism both domestically and abroad.  We must maintain peace through strength and a strong military.
  • My three most important campaign planks are:

    • Term-limiting Congress – with a maximum 8-year lifetime of service.
    • Legal reform to improve public safety and media integrity — including our open border.
    • Higher education loan reform – create “new” education alternative.
  • Child welfare, immigration, seniors, veterans. (I know you wanted three but I am passionate about all four of those issues the most)
  • Border security and immigration reform. Reducing government spending. Cost of living – reducing inflation.
  • Cost of living, affordable health care and Immigration.
  • The biggest national security crisis right now is our open border. Number two national security risk is our national debt. Number three issue is government overreach and centralization of power in Washington D.C.

What can or should Congress do to address inflation?

  • Congress should prioritize fiscal discipline, curb excessive government spending and reduce regulatory burdens on businesses. Working closely with the Federal Reserve, we can implement sound monetary policies to stabilize the dollar’s value, fostering economic growth and curbing inflationary pressures. This approach mirrors President Reagan’s successful strategy by ensuring responsible financial management and fostering economic stability.
  • The answer is not hard, it just requires a motivated White House and a Congress that is ready to work. Congress must stop spending so much money, re-tap American energy and, like President Trump, reduce regulations on businesses across the economic spectrum.
  • Reckless spending by Democrats in Congress is the biggest cause of inflation. Every American family lives by a budget; it is time for the federal government to do the same. As a businessman, I understand how to build and work within a budget. Government is too big and too bloated. I will fight for a balanced budget, reduced spending and smaller government.
  • The printing of money through qualitative easing and the subsidy-laden stimulus bills worked to inflate prices.  Also, unwise regulations, with no cost/benefit analysis, lead to hidden taxes which inflate costs.  We need to be more competitive, and that means reducing unnecessary spending.
  • My plan for fixing inflation involves five things:

    • Closing abusive tax loopholes that benefit the richest of the rich.
    • Adopting pay-as-you-go policies as we had in the Clinton administration.
    • Enact the Penny Plan as proposed by Rand Paul. It would reduce spending by 1 percent — except for Social Security and Medicare. It offers a simple, easy way to balance the budget.
    • Increase the use of private sector contractors versus government employee expansion for key services.
    • End the Federal Reserve’s use of excessively “doveish” monetary policy. Their absurd interest rate policy between 2008-2020 caused huge inflation in real estate and other assets.
  • I will never claim to have all the answers for this topic. I don’t think there is a one size fits all for this problem. I do think we need to look at major corporations that are trying to line their investors’ pockets and see how we can ensure big corporations are not trying to take advantage of the people.
  • We have to reduce the growth of government spending. Since 1960, the United States has had a fivefold increase in national government spending, established seven new cabinet agencies, effected a steady expansion in programs and 80,000-plus pages of new regulations. Most of the personnel growth has been done by adding some 12 million federal contractors to supplement what the nearly 3 million federal employees do not have capacity to handle.
  • We have to stop printing money. We have got to become energy independent and the cost of living will fall.
  • The three major drivers of inflation are: reckless spending, unrealistic energy policies and dependencies of our supply chain on China. I have worked on bipartisan bills to deal with these issues, unfortunately being blocked by Schumer and Biden.

What changes – if any – would you like to see regarding border security?

  • As a legal immigrant, I fully support immigration reform, emphasizing secure borders and pathways to citizenship. It’s essential to collaborate with Mexico, holding them accountable, and, if necessary, deploying military resources to address illegal immigration effectively while maintaining our values of fairness and security. This is essential to safeguarding the American Dream for future generations.
  • I have seen the border crisis firsthand, both in Texas and Arizona. I am pushing to enforce the current laws, stop the incentives drawing migrants to the border (flights, hotels, etc), fully resource border patrol and apprehend, process and deport migrants before they reach our border.
  • We must secure the border and finish building the wall to stop the invasion that the Biden administration has welcomed to our country. If the Biden administration enforced the current laws in the books and reinstated President Trump’s remain-in-Mexico policy, we wouldn’t have the out-of-control crises currently at the southern border.
  • We must increase military involvement and satellite technology to keep illegal immigrants out.  Anyone seeking to enter the county must clear a security background check.  Pay increases are needed for border agents and ICE agents.
  • This is simple to achieve but difficult to carry out with a Congress loaded with uncommitted people. Our border and safety situations will improve when we:

    • Enforce our existing immigration laws.
    • Build difficult-to-penetrate walls along both our southern and northern borders.
    • Deport all individuals that entered our country illegally – no amnesty.
    • Enact significant tariffs against Mexico for enabling the transmission of illegal immigrants through their country.
  • I want to see immigration as a whole be looked at. Not just talking points.  I had a fiancé in Mexico and was with her for over two years. It’s absurd that her tourist visa got denied after a 300-day wait. And, to apply for a fiancé visa the wait time went up to 850 days. But, if I go to Vietnam and find somebody I want to start a life with, the wait time is 10 days – something is very wrong there. Let’s shift resources, cut wait times down and allow people to try to come to this country legally instead of making it so they are forced to cross illegally.
  • I support H.R. 2. Let’s build 200 miles of border wall annually, increasing border agents to 22,000, modernize agents’ tools and technology, no benefits to aliens that do not come in through an authorized port of entry, tighten asylum language. Reenact catch and return and the other provisions in H.R. 2.
  • A full military response needs to happen at our border, a mass roundup of illegals and ship them back to wherever they came from.
  • We have to:

    • Fix asylum processes abused in over 90 percent of cases and tighten parole authority abused by this administration
    • Expand border wall and improve border surveillance technologies
    • Reinstate “Remain in Mexico” and Title 42-like authorities for border patrol to better deal with illegal aliens

How much additional financial support should the U.S. provide to Ukraine and Israel in their ongoing conflicts?

  • I believe that the U.S. should carefully consider its financial support to Ukraine and Israel. While maintaining our commitment to allies, we must also assess the impact on our own economy and national security. Redirecting resources to secure the southern border, support veterans and invest in education aligns with our mission to safeguard the next generation. Striking a balance is crucial.
  •  I met with the 82nd Airborne at the Ukraine border and saw the lack of oversight in-person. We cannot send blank checks to Ukraine. Strict controls must be in place before future consideration of assistance/loans. Israel is strategically unique as both an ally and vital to our regional control and kinetic support is warranted.
  • We must secure our southern border first! I support Ukraine as it defends itself from Russia’s invasion, but we have provided billions of dollars to Ukraine. We must have a clear strategy to end this war and ensure that we are protecting against corruption. Also, this conflict is occurring in Europe’s backyard; they need to step up and provide the support that Ukraine needs.
  • We must stand up for Israel. The attack by Muslim extremists requires an enforceable border as the two-state solution has not worked.  We should keep funding David’s Sling and the Iron Dome and stop Houthi rebels who try to shut down nearly 12 percent of the world’s supply chains. In the Ukraine, the time has come for a ceasefire where Russia would keep the Russian-speaking and historically Russian-controlled Crimea and the Ukrainian government would maintain the mineral-rich Dumbas region that has been blown to smithereens.  NATO allies must work in tandem with the U.S. in helping refugees in Poland and other eastern European nations
  • I’m not good with the U.S. spending hundreds of billions of dollars on foreign wars right now. Nor are most people I speak with in the district. Real leaders – like President Trump – find solutions to diffuse conflict where possible, work to end senseless wars and make sure Americans are safe. Right now, our Congress is far more concerned about the invasion of Ukraine’s border than the invasion of our southern border by illegal immigrants. 
  • We are dumping billions of dollars into other countries while forgetting the basic needs of Americans. I went to Israel last year.  I understand their hardships. But if this was an airline company we would be up in arms because of a bailout. But, because it’s overseas, we are willing to send billions of dollars without seeing where our money is going. It’s absurd to me.
  • As for Israel, I support maintaining $3.3 billion per year. I do support continued funding to Ukraine with oversight to make sure the monies are used for the fight against Russia; not to line the pockets of corrupt politicians. I would taper the funding off over time to incentivize the European Union to increase funding.
  • We should always support Israel. We can’t send any more money to Ukraine. It’s time to make Putin very aware that we are ready to remove him from power by force if this does not stop.
  • Stopping Putin’s aggression and defeating Hamas terrorists are in our national interest. We must stand with Israel, our critical ally in the Middle East, in its right to defend itself.  Our Ukraine strategy should be not “as long as it takes” but “as fast as we can” with proper oversight.

What can Congress do to help bring down health care costs in Indiana and nationally?

  • As a healthcare provider and rehabilitation manager, I support comprehensive healthcare reforms. Congress exacerbates healthcare costs with burdensome regulations, adding administrative burdens on hospitals. To reduce this strain, we must promote deregulation, negotiate fair hospital and physician fees, control drug prices, foster competition, expand the healthcare workforce and cap insurance premiums. Transparency and affordability are crucial for ensuring access to quality and affordable healthcare for all constituents.
  • Congress must use its oversight role to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse inside the healthcare system. Increased transparency in pricing, elimination of surprise billing and more competition in hospital systems would help drive down costs locally and nationally.
  • Healthcare costs are too high. Congress can help with this issue by cutting regulations and red tape, allowing competition into the marketplace and simply getting out of the way. This will help significantly lower healthcare costs.
  • I assisted U.S. Senator Dan Coats in funding federally qualified community health centers.  The undereducated and underemployed need a gatekeeper, a primary care physician or nurse practitioner, to assist with asthma, diabetes, pre-natal care, etc.  This preventative care raises health status and reduces health care spending;  small businesses must build on business commonality, cross state lines, form bigger purchasing pools for added leverage vis a via insurance companies when negotiating prices and reducing costs.
    • Eliminate pharmaceutical company advertising on TV.
    • Review the tax-exempt status of “non-profit” hospitals.
    • Prosecute hospitals for non-competitive employment/business practices.
    • Reevaluate Obamacare’s mandatory coverage rules to permit more flexible insurance plans having lower premiums – with protection for catastrophic events.
  • Force big pharma to lower medication costs. I donated my kidney to a friend in November 2022. I didn’t think twice about it, but I was told multiple times I would probably be denied health insurance and life insurance because of being a donor. That’s wrong on a lot of levels. Medicaid is going up to outrageous costs for seniors. Why do insurance companies charge more for one pill from one insurance compared to another? It’s outrageous. There are bills we can pass to try to cut costs and hold big pharma accountable.
  • Reduce government intervention. Enhancing healthcare choice and competition in ways that embrace the value of the market while focusing on patients’ needs. Put patients in control of their health care by ensuring price transparency and allowing Americans to pick the care that fits their needs.
  • It’s time to address health care. We need to let our doctors be doctors and keep the big insurance companies out of making treatment decisions for our people. It is time to get real reform in necessary drugs like insulin and blood pressure and cancer care. We also need to send our veterans to real hospitals and to real doctors in the private sector. A lot of work needs done in this category, but we can do this.
  • Indiana has some of the highest healthcare prices in the nation. I fought and passed some health care reforms as a state senator and prioritized this issue in Congress, making some progress this session. I recently received a “Champion of Healthcare Innovation” award for my value-based healthcare legislative work.

We live in an increasingly polarized and politically divided state and nation. How will you work to lead and better all Hoosiers – regardless of whether they support you or not?

  • With three decades of service embracing Hoosiers of all nationalities, cultures and faiths, I am dedicated to bipartisan cooperation and enhancing constituent services to better serve all Hoosiers, regardless of political allegiance. My mission to safeguard the next generation drives my focus on advancing the common good and fostering unity within our community.
  • The Constitution calls this position a “representative.” My responsibility is to be immersed in the district, listening and learning, so that if given the honor and privilege of being sent to Congress I can represent the district well. I will always listen and work to solve the issues.
  • I am a workhorse, not a showhorse. If elected, you won’t find me on cable news airing my grievances and complaining while accomplishing nothing for our district. Instead, I will be working every day for hardworking Hoosiers fighting for policies that secure our border, lower inflation and  protect our conservative midwestern values in D.C.
  • Governance must be rooted in mutual respect for one’s adversaries and opponents.  You treat someone with respect.  This entails listening to the other side and those with differing perspectives.  However, one must have a moral compass and backbone, understand the district one represents, stand on principle and stand up for the people.
  • To the extent one studies my platforms, I’m focused on solving problems impacting “the many” Hoosiers. This includes the economy, public safety and higher education affordability. Further, my position on women’s reproductive rights is in sync with 70 percent of the country. In short, I’m focusing on the 80 percent of people who want problems solved, versus the 10 percent at each end of the “bell curve.”
  • I have been known to unite people.  I am called Muncie’s Smile Man. I don’t care who you are or where you come from, you matter. I lost my sister to suicide a month after she got out of foster care. I am a nobody.  I come from the system. But, I care about everybody, no matter if you support me or not. Your voice will always matter. I love finding common ground because we will never agree on everything.
  • I’ve been in the business world for over 30 years and learned to craft win/wins in business. I’m going to D.C., to get work done, not 15 minutes of fame. I will approach the job with the belief that we have consensus that all want the best for our country and work to find the best “how” to get it done.
  • First off, this is America, the greatest Republic in the world. We are losing the American dream. We are letting too many illegals into our country; they are killing the American way of life. We are too worried about other countries. We need to start worrying about the U.S., the people of the United States of America! We the people deserve better, and it’s time to send a common citizen to D.C., to fight for the 5th District and its people.
  • I represent 100 percent of people regardless if someone voted for me. I understand the importance of constituent services, so I moved most of my operations from Washington D.C. to the district and implemented internal policies to go above and beyond to deliver results. I also hold in-person district town halls.

What do you most want voters to know about you?

  • I bring a diverse background in education with two master’s degrees in speech and hearing, and in business administration. This has led to many years of experience in speech-language pathology, business and international economics. I am driven by an unwavering commitment to serving all Hoosiers with excellence and integrity. I have been honored with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Sagamore of the Wabash twice. My mission is to safeguard the next generation and ensure a brighter future for our district and nation.
  • The 5th District is my home and I want it to be represented well. The issues in front of us are too urgent to waste time learning how to do this job or rebuilding damaged relationships. I have the unique ability and skill set to hit the ground running in Washington unlike any other candidate in this race.
  • Faith, family and country are the most important things in life. I am a Christian first. My family attends White River Church. I’ve been married for over 30 years and have four exceptional children. It is an honor to raise a family and grow a business, and it would be a privilege to give back to the great citizens of the 5th District by serving them in Congress.
  • I understand the nuances of the different subcultures in the communities throughout the 5th District.  I am the only candidate born and raised in this 5th Congressional District.  Through government service, prosecuting crimes and running a small business, I assisted individuals with mental health issues.  I have seen and felt the struggles people face.  While just one small brick in the wall of justice, I learned firsthand why mental health reform is needed.  Nearly a third of those in our county jails need mental health treatment.  No copay or deductible when you receive mental health treatment in a jail.  We can do better
  • I want voters to know my campaign is a “calling” versus some “lifetime achievement award” or trophy. That I’m focused on solving our real problems—not some day-to-day political conflict. And in my view, the first step to solving our real problems involves term limiting the Congress. It’s something over 80 percent of people from all political parties agree on – because we’re all smart enough to know that nothing changes where nothing changes.
  • I want people to remember no matter where they come from they can run for office. They can make a difference. Even if they are at the back of the pack. Even if they don’t have millions of dollars, like over 51 percent of the current Congress members do. Remember, life is too short to be angry at everything. Let’s stop over-focusing on national issues and focus on the issues that are affecting Hoosiers here in the 5th District and in the state.
  • I’m a Christ follower, father of three, Navy veteran and I love my country and want to go to Washington to fight to secure our country and be a voice for the people of the 5th District. I signed up to give my all for my country before and I’m ready to go fight for my country and our children and grandchildren’s future.
  • I want people to know I am not a millionaire that is buying his way into DC. I am a person who is passionate about Making America Great Again! I want people to know that it’s time to send someone who is a true fighter, a person who is one of the people, and I am going to go to D.C. and stand up for the poor and the middle class. God Bless America. I have to win for us, the poor and the middle class. We are tired of the rich getting richer and buying power. This has to stop now. I am ready to take on the squad. I am ready to fight with President Trump to get our country back. I will pursue prosecuting Joe and Hunter Biden.
  • It’s been a great honor representing my constituents in Washington and a huge responsibility. Being a mother and having a very demanding job is not easy, but I understand the importance of my duties. I have faith our better days are ahead of us, in spite of all the turmoil.