Tight race for Indiana congressional seat too early to call

The outcome of the hotly contested race for a central Indiana congressional seat was too early to call early Wednesday, with many votes still uncounted.

Posted: Nov 4, 2020 8:47 AM
Updated: Nov 4, 2020 12:37 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The outcome of the hotly contested race for a central Indiana congressional seat was too early to call early Wednesday, with many votes still uncounted.

Republican Victoria Spartz and Democrat Christina Hale faced each other for the seat that’s been a GOP bastion for decades.

The campaign was largely fought in the northern Indianapolis suburbs amid softening support among suburban women for Republicans under President Donald Trump. The winner will replace Republican Rep. Susan Brooks, who didn’t seek reelection this year.

Spartz was cheered by supporters as they celebrated the preliminary vote count late Tuesday.

“We know they’re still counting the vote, but we feel that we’re on a good track to win,” Spartz said.

Hale did not speak in public Tuesday night, with her campaign saying it was still monitoring the vote totals.

“There are still tens of thousands of mail-in votes in the Fifth District that have not yet been counted, particularly in Marion and Hamilton counties, where we have done a significant amount of voter outreach over these past few months,” Hale campaign manager Joann Saridakis said in a statement. “This race is not over.”

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

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.

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.

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 two years in the state Senate.

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.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
LaGrange325175
Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
Fulton280454
Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
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