Carmel Democrat relies on local, national experience in Congressional bid


As a Democratic candidate to represent Indiana’s 5th District in Congress, Deborah Pickett believes she has the right background to understand how local issues intersect with national policy.

The Carmel resident has spent the last several years as a community volunteer with multiple local organizations, including her homeowners association, a strategic planning committee for Carmel Clay Schools and the board of a nursing home. But before that, she was involved in organizations with a national focus, serving in the U.S. Army Reserves and working for the Hudson Institute, a public policy research organization.

“As a congresswoman, I need to have a full understanding of the issues that are near and dear to the heart of my constituents, and that comes as a result of my volunteer commitments over the years,” Pickett said. “Then there is the world of Congress. (I will consider) how do I take this knowledge and make sure that I am advocating on their behalf for policies that are important at the federal level?”

Among Pickett’s campaign goals are protecting democracy and ensuring fairness and justice prevail, fighting for personal rights and liberties, and working toward a federal government that delivers efficient and effective services while responsibly stewarding taxpayer dollars.

“One of my priorities in Congress would be to make sure that (government) agencies are adequately funded, that they are adequately staffed with people who have expertise, so that when you call the IRS you don’t have to wait for 40 minutes to get an answer,” she said.

Pickett said she wants Hoosiers to have more input in decisions made at the federal level.

“I have felt that Indiana has not been well represented in Congress, and I have felt very frustrated by the gridlock and the chaos in Congress,” she said. “Our voices have not been well served in Congress.”

Pickett is facing Ryan Pfenninger, a tech entrepreneur from Carmel, in the May 7 Democratic primary. The winner will face one of nine candidates vying for the Republican nomination. The seat is held by Victoria Spartz, a Republican who is seeking reelection.

Learn more about Pickett’s campaign at