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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: 665285

Reported Deaths: 12697
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion910581653
Lake48637887
Allen36050641
Hamilton32231398
St. Joseph30243514
Elkhart25484420
Vanderburgh21315382
Tippecanoe20185205
Johnson16425361
Porter16053276
Hendricks15899301
Clark12032182
Madison11779321
Vigo11672231
Monroe10394164
Delaware9879179
LaPorte9821198
Howard9095199
Kosciusko8588111
Bartholomew7504147
Warrick7445153
Hancock7439134
Floyd7255172
Wayne6654192
Grant6453157
Boone611991
Morgan6118126
Dubois5933112
Dearborn550669
Cass5477100
Marshall5446105
Henry542695
Noble510978
Jackson465567
Shelby462591
Lawrence4193113
Gibson404985
Harrison402764
Clinton397053
Montgomery390584
DeKalb387178
Knox357885
Miami357863
Whitley350638
Huntington348377
Steuben339855
Wabash333076
Putnam331960
Ripley327862
Adams325149
Jasper318443
White298052
Jefferson295974
Daviess285696
Fayette272656
Decatur271388
Greene262280
Posey261432
Wells258975
Scott251450
LaGrange242170
Clay241444
Randolph225877
Spencer219330
Jennings216344
Washington213027
Sullivan203639
Fountain202542
Starke189251
Owen183453
Fulton179637
Jay178528
Carroll176919
Perry173836
Orange171351
Rush165422
Vermillion161542
Franklin159735
Tipton149241
Parke140116
Pike128433
Blackford120627
Pulaski107544
Newton96732
Brown95240
Benton92413
Crawford92113
Martin80314
Warren75914
Switzerland7558
Union67510
Ohio54111
Unassigned0434

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