Republican Spartz wins hard-fought Indiana US House race

Republican Victoria Spartz has won a hotly contested congressional district in central Indiana, extending the GOP’s decades-long hold on a seat that was a top target of Democrats.

Posted: Nov 5, 2020 11:27 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Republican Victoria Spartz has won a hotly contested congressional district in central Indiana, extending the GOP’s decades-long hold on a seat that was a top target of Democrats.

Spartz defeated Democrat Christina Hale after a campaign largely fought in the northern Indianapolis suburbs amid a national trend of suburban women moving away from Republicans under President Donald Trump.

The Associated Press called the race for Spartz on Wednesday after a second day of counting of mail ballots, including tens of thousands in Hamilton and Marion counties.

Spartz will replace Republican Rep. Susan Brooks, who didn’t seek reelection this year.

At least $15 million was sunk into the race, with national party organizations and dark-money groups spending heavily on largely negative advertising.

“This has been a long, tough campaign and I look forward (to) uniting Hoosiers around real solutions and serving every resident of Indiana’s 5th District,” Spartz said in a statement.

The Spartz victory completed a Republican sweep of Indiana’s top-tier races, including statewide wins for President Donald Trump, Gov. Eric Holcomb and state attorney general candidate Todd Rokita.

Democrats made the congressional seat a top priority and had hoped a strong run by Hale would help them unseat some Republican state representatives in the northern Indianapolis suburbs, including GOP House Speaker Todd Huston. But Republicans prevailed in all those races.

Hale conceded the election to Spartz, saying in a statement that it was “a historically close race."

“For more than a year, we spoke about protecting and expanding every Hoosiers’ right to affordable health care and promoting bipartisanship and civility in our politics," Hale said.

Wednesday began with about 28,500 uncounted mail-in ballots in Hamilton County that were received by Tuesday’s noon deadline but weren’t tallied that day, said Beth Sheller, elections administrator in the county just north of Indianapolis.

The district covers roughly the northern third of Indianapolis, which also received a record number of mail-in ballots. Marion County election workers faced some 90,000 mail ballots to count Wednesday, although it wasn’t clear how many of those were from the congressional district.

Spartz, 42, a state senator from Noblesville who immigrated from Ukraine, won the Republican primary after flooding TV screens and mailboxes with ads fueled largely by some $1.2 million she loaned to her campaign. That enabled her to build name identification after three years in the state Senate.

Spartz won a crowded Republican primary race that largely turned into a contest of loyalty to Trump. But she afterward shifted away from talking about Trump during the general election campaign.

The congressional race became a partisan battleground as cracks in the Republican dominance have appeared in the past couple years in the 5th District, which stretches from the north side of Indianapolis north into rural areas and the smaller cities of Anderson and Marion. A Democrat last represented the Hamilton County area in Congress more than five decades ago and it has long been one of the state’s strongest sources of Republican votes.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly won in the district even as he lost statewide in 2018 to Republican Mike Braun and a handful of Democrats won city positions in the northern Indianapolis suburbs for the first time during 2019 municipal elections.

Indianapolis voters backed Hale by a wide margin, according to unofficial tallies collected by the AP. Spartz, however, won in Hamilton County and collected 2-to-1 vote totals over Hale in the district’s rural northern counties.

Spartz campaigned as more stridently conservative than Brooks, who built a reputation as a moderate Republican in comfortably winning four elections.

Hale, 49, is a former state representative from Indianapolis who was the 2016 Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor. Hale leaned heavily during the campaign on her personal story of working as a waitress and struggling with daycare for her son as a single mom while earning a college degree.

West Lafayette
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 66°
Kokomo
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 61°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 61°
Fowler
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 66°
Williamsport
Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 64°
Crawfordsville
Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 57°
Frankfort
Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 57°
Delphi
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 61°
Monticello
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 61°
Logansport
Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 57°
Warm up with more humidity conditions returning.....Storms returning too...
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 751526

Reported Deaths: 13799
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033281788
Lake557151010
Allen41710692
St. Joseph36998565
Hamilton36604417
Elkhart29413461
Tippecanoe22914227
Vanderburgh22559400
Porter19359326
Johnson18477389
Hendricks17689317
Clark13228195
Madison13158344
Vigo12625253
LaPorte12420221
Monroe12211176
Delaware10968198
Howard10337225
Kosciusko9630121
Hancock8577147
Bartholomew8172157
Warrick7860156
Floyd7812180
Grant7242179
Wayne7162201
Boone6972103
Morgan6765141
Dubois6221118
Marshall6211116
Cass6017110
Henry5902110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509176
Shelby501796
Lawrence4745122
Gibson445094
Clinton442755
Harrison441775
DeKalb439885
Montgomery438490
Whitley406643
Huntington403181
Steuben400259
Miami395269
Jasper388654
Knox376391
Putnam373260
Wabash362383
Ripley347270
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332253
Daviess3033100
Wells295381
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273172
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246136
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234631
Starke228058
Fountain221048
Sullivan214643
Owen212158
Fulton203042
Jay200932
Carroll193720
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion174844
Franklin170335
Tipton166446
Parke149616
Pike138134
Blackford136232
Pulaski120747
Newton114336
Brown104243
Crawford102516
Benton101914
Martin91715
Warren84015
Switzerland8148
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0420

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events