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

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Cases: 749835

Reported Deaths: 13752
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1031281779
Lake555181006
Allen41642691
St. Joseph36959564
Hamilton36537416
Elkhart29373459
Tippecanoe22871224
Vanderburgh22544400
Porter19339325
Johnson18412388
Hendricks17594317
Clark13202193
Madison13128344
Vigo12606253
LaPorte12400221
Monroe12175175
Delaware10949198
Howard10270225
Kosciusko9615119
Hancock8556145
Bartholomew8162157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7775180
Grant7230179
Wayne7158201
Boone6922103
Morgan6742141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6208116
Cass5997109
Henry5894108
Dearborn589078
Noble580287
Jackson508774
Shelby500897
Lawrence4735121
Gibson444293
Harrison441073
Clinton440455
DeKalb438985
Montgomery434890
Whitley406042
Huntington402281
Steuben399359
Miami392968
Jasper387054
Knox375790
Putnam372160
Wabash360683
Ripley346570
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White330853
Daviess3031100
Wells295181
Decatur289992
Greene286685
Fayette284864
Posey273735
LaGrange273072
Scott269955
Clay266048
Washington245034
Randolph244683
Jennings235249
Spencer234231
Starke227858
Fountain219147
Sullivan214043
Owen211258
Fulton202142
Jay200932
Carroll193420
Orange188155
Perry187037
Rush175726
Vermillion174044
Franklin170235
Tipton166046
Parke149016
Pike138134
Blackford136132
Pulaski120347
Newton113036
Brown104043
Crawford102316
Benton101114
Martin91615
Warren83615
Switzerland8108
Union72810
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