Indiana has nine congressional races in Indiana: what you need to know

By: and - October 19, 2022 6:30 am

All 435 seats in the U.S. House are up for election – including Indiana’s nine congressional districts. (

Indiana sends nine representatives to the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. – and all are up for election on November 8, along with the rest of the 435-member chamber.

Just one race is expected to be competitive: Indiana’s First Congressional District, which a Republican could represent for the first time in 94 years. Incumbents are running again in that race and six others, while the Second and Ninth Districts will soon have entirely new representation.

The Libertarian Party fielded candidates in four of the nine races, a continued uptick in the party’s attempt to gain relevance in statewide elections. 

Read about all the races below or select a specific race here:

First Congressional District

Voters in this traditionally Democratic stronghold haven’t selected a Republican representative since an election in 1928. The district, located in Northwestern Indiana, includes most of the Hoosier state’s share of the Chicago Metropolitan area. The outcome could swing the partisan balance of the legislative chamber.

Incumbent Frank Mrvan assumed office in January 2021 after his predecessor retired. The in-district native was born and raised in Hammond. 

When he announced a reelection bid in January 2022, Mrvan said he wanted to grow Northwest Indiana’s economy and protect the area’s steel and other manufacturing industries. In a news release, Mrvan touted his votes for the pandemic-era American Rescue Plan, which sent billions to Indiana and other states, and some veteran health care improvements.

Republican challenger Jennifer Ruth Green is a U.S. Air Force veteran – and active reservist – and nonprofit science education leader. 

She aligned herself with former President Donald Trump in the lead-up to a seven-way primary, though she’s since backed off, telling Politico, “His personality was not something that I want to emulate.” A Fox News regular, she has continued to campaign with members of Trump’s circle, pumping gas with former Vice President Mike Pence and fundraising with former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

In a “battle plan” on her website, she highlighted plans to combat inflation by limiting government spending and pushing homegrown goods. She also prioritized energy independence via American oil, national security, education and more.

“I do not desire to represent Washington, D.C. in Northwest Indiana,” the page reads. “I will represent Northwest Indiana in Washington, D.C.”

While one premier race-tracker still rates the race “Lean Democratic,” the other two have classified it a toss-up, according to the nonpartisan Ballotpedia. Both parties are going all in: Mrvan was designated one of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s 2022 Frontline Program members, while Green is among the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns Program designees.

First Congressional District Candidates: Democrat Rep. Frank Mrvan (left) and challenger Jennifer Ruth-Green. (Photos from candidate’s Facebook pages)

Second Congressional District

The Second Congressional District had unprecedented national coverage after the death of Rep. Jackie Walorski, who had represented the district since 2013. She was up for re-election but died in August, far enough from the November election to require a special election. 

Following her death, Gov. Eric Holcomb called for the special election to be held concurrently with the regular election.

Rudolph “Rudy” Yakym III emerged as the victor in a crowded Republican caucus with a dozen candidates, leaning on his prior service as Walorski’s campaign finance director. 

Yakym’s slim biography on his candidate website cites his business experience and “common sense Indiana values” he’d use “to get America back on track.”

Yakym, a growth initiatives director at an Elkhart-based logistics company, faces Democrat Paul Steury and Libertarian William E. Henry, both of whom will appear on the special and regular election ballots as well. 

Steury, a high school science teacher living in Goshen, characterized his decision to run as a counter to “radical” Republicans to elect leaders focused on good-paying jobs, affordable health care and effective policies. 

On his Facebook page, Henry emphasized his pro-marijuana stance and pushback on government emergency mandates during the pandemic. As a candidate for Lieutenant Governor, he called for greater transparency and previously proposed allowing teachers and staff to be armed on school grounds. 

Second Congressional District Candidates (clockwise from left): Republican Rudy Yakym, Democrat Paul Steury and Libertarian William E. Henry (Photos from Yakym’s candidate website, Steury’s Twitter account and Henry’s Facebook page)

Third Congressional District

Incumbent congressman Jim Banks, a Republican, is the frontrunner in a safely red seat. The veteran made a name for himself as a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump with a firebrand Twitter account

He has represented the district since 2018, before which he represented a northeastern portion of Indiana in the State Senate. During his term, he was deployed to Afghanistan and his wife, Amanda, was elected to serve in his place until his return. 

His Democratic opponent, Gary Snyder, is also a veteran and former foster parent in Huntington who works in the financial services industry. His platform focuses on capping the price of insulin, expanding preschool/ childcare opportunities and addressing climate change – citing specific bills that Banks voted against during his six years in office. 

Nathan Gotsch is the only independent candidate running for congressional office who is not a write-in. He is a filmmaker who developed a campaign to fight COVID-19 and encourage vaccination during the pandemic. Gotsch criticizes the Jan. 6 insurrection on his website as an example of extreme partisanship, pushing for political party reform and a free market system.

Third Congressional District Candidates (clockwise from left): Republican Rep. Jim Banks, Democrat Gary Snyder and Independent Nathan Gotsch. (Photos from Bank’s Congressional Profile, Ballotpedia and Gotsch’s Twitter profile)

Fourth Congressional District

Jim Baird first won the seat in 2018 after spending eight years in the Indiana General Assembly as a state representative. A Vietnam veteran, Baird’s biography says he “is a strong believer in fiscal responsibility and the idea of living within our means.” Baird frequently opposes Democrat bills and defended Trump following the FBI raid of his Florida residence.

Democrat challenger Roger D. Day also faced Baird in 2018, as well as Baird’s predecessor, Attorney General Todd Rokita, in 2014. 

In a 2018 interview with the Logansport Pharos-Tribune, the former health insurance executive positioned himself opposite of Trump, saying he supported Medicare for All, labor unions and gun control measures.

Fourth Congressional District Candidates: Republican Rep. Jim Baird (left) and Democrat Roger D. Day. (Photos from Baird’s Congressional website and BallotReady)

Fifth Congressional District

Freshman lawmaker Victoria Spartz, a Republican, is the only native Ukrainian serving in Congress but has attracted controversy for repeatedly criticizing the actions of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

A licensed certified public accountant, Spartz previously served as a senator in the Indiana General Assembly, pushing for limited government and to repeal state regulations on wetlands following a failed development she oversaw in Hamilton County.

The conservative has said that she would seek U.S. Sen. Mike Braun’s Senate seat in 2024 if he leaves the office to launch his own campaign for governor. 

Her opponent, Democrat Jeannine Lee Lake, a Muncie journalist, previously challenged Congressman Greg Pence twice in the 6th Congressional District before redistricting placed her in the 5th District. 

In her campaign bio, Lake’s top three issues are economic concerns for small business owners, healthcare disparities and “common-sense” gun control regulations like Red Flag laws. She describes herself as a “fiscally conservative, social liberal Christian Democrat.”

Fifth Congressional District Candidates: Republican Rep. Victoria Spartz (left) and Democrat Jeannine Lee Lake. (Photos from Spartz’s Congressional website and Ballotpedia)

Sixth Congressional District

A Pence has represented the Sixth Congressional District for 14 years over the last two decades, starting with former Vice President Mike Pence in 2002. His brother, Greg Pence, ran for the office and won in 2018.

Greg Pence, a Republican, describes himself as a “pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and faith-driven conservative,” and owns two antique malls in southern Indiana. For his re-election, Greg Pence promised to strengthen the middle class and professed other pro-business positions. 

During redistricting, Pence’s district shifted significantly, losing counties in southeastern Indiana to pick up the southern third of Marion County but retaining his Columbus hometown. 

His opponent, Democrat Cynthia “Cinde” Wirth, promotes her experience as a science and education expert for Congress in 2018 and 2019. Her priorities listed on her campaign website include funding public education, legalizing marijuana, lowering healthcare costs and defending the rights of transgender children.

Wirth previously challenged State Sen. Eric Koch in 2020.

Sixth Congressional District Candidates: Republican Rep. Greg Pence (left) and Democrat Cynthia “Cinde” Wirth. (Photos from Pence’s Congressional website and Wirth’s campaign website)

Seventh Congressional District

The only safe Democrat seat, located entirely within Marion County, has been held by André Carson since 2008 when he won a special election following the death of his grandmother, Julia Carson. 

Carson previously worked with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, a position he says helped him prepare to serve on the Emerging Threats Subcommittee in Congress. Within the House Democratic Caucus, Carson holds a position of power as the Senior Whip tasked with gathering votes. 

Carson is one of three Muslims serving in Congress. 

Challenging Carson is Angela Grabovsky, a Republican born in Ukraine who grew up during the Soviet Union. Grabovsky’s website details her story of moving to the United States to work as a housekeeper while simultaneously learning English before launching her own real estate company. 

She claimed Carson allowed “extremist policies and a radical agenda” to pass in Washington D.C. even as families withstood high inflation and violent crime. Her biography says she is “running for Congress to save America from a dark future” and from devolving into the Soviet Union.

Newcomer Gavin Maple, a libertarian from Crown Point, works as an electrician and bartender in Indianapolis. 

In an email, Maple emphasized his focus on abolishing property taxes, civil asset forfeiture and “no knock” warrants. Congress needs term limits, he said, and to stop passing omnibus bills.

Seventh Congressional District Candidates: Democrat Rep. Andre Carson (left) and Republican Angela Grabovsky. (Photos from Carson’s Congressional website and Ballotpedia. A photo of Maple was not immediately available)

Eighth Congressional District

Larry Bucshon, Indiana’s longest-serving Republican Representative currently in Congress, was first elected in 2010. Bucshon, a cardiothoracic surgeon, has pushed to lower healthcare costs and combat opioid overdoses. Representing southwest Indiana, Bucshon is the son of a coal miner and advocates for energy jobs in that sector.

He has a 100% voting record from National Right to Life and an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association. 

Bucshon faces Democrat Ray McCormick and Libertarian Andrew Horning in the general election. 

McCormick previously worked with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources as a member of the natural resources commission. A farmer from Knox County, McCormick details the responsibility of “caring for God’s creation” and being “stewards of the planet” in his climate-focused biography. He focuses on the need for conservation in the district and protecting natural resources.

He leads local soil and water conservation districts and has testified before Congress on conservation issues.

Horning, a perennial Libertarian candidate, maintains a farm and works in medical technology development. He keeps an active blog in addition to his campaign website, where he said he “fights the system,” muses on the possibility of World War III and pushes for third-party representation. 

Eighth Congressional District Candidates (clockwise from left): Republican Rep. Larry Buschon, Democrat Ray McCormick and Libertarian Andy Horning. (Photos from Buschon’s Congressional website and Ballotpedia)

Ninth Congressional District

Earlier this year, Rep. Trey Hollingsworth said he wouldn’t run for a third term representing Indiana’s southernmost district, prompting rumors of a bid for the governor’s office, which opens up in 2024. 

During redistricting, the district grew to absorb counties in the southeastern part of the state without losing too much ground in central Indiana. Following Hollingsworth’s announcement, nine Republicans filed to run in the safely Republican seat and former State Sen. Erin Houchin emerged as the victor

Houchin’s campaign website highlights her record of anti-abortion, pro-law enforcement legislation, saying she has the “experience and energy we need in Washington (D.C.) to push back against (President) Joe Biden and (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi.”

Democrat Matt Fyfe, a high school math teacher from Bloomington, holds a position on the board of his local teacher’s union. His website emphasizes the importance of public education, which he calls the “bedrock of our society.”

Fyfe calls for accessible health care and support for working parents, including affordable childcare and paid parental leave.

Tonya Millis, a Libertarian, previously campaigned for the district in 2020. Mills, a real estate agent, calls for rolling back rules and regulations on small businesses and the trucking industry. She also wants to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, proclaims herself to be pro-life and believes the government “should stay out of the People’s personal business.”

Ninth Congressional District Candidates (clockwise from left): Republican Erin Houchin, Democrat Matthew Fyfe and Libertarian Tonya Millis. (Photos from the Indiana State Senate and Ballotpedia)

CORRECTION: This story was edited to correct an error on the number of Muslims serving in Congress.

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Whitney Downard
Whitney Downard

A native of upstate New York, Whitney previously covered statehouse politics for CNHI’s nine Indiana papers, focusing on long-term healthcare facilities and local government. Prior to her foray into Indiana politics, she worked as a general assignment reporter for The Meridian Star in Meridian, Mississippi. Whitney is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University (#GoBonnies!), a community theater enthusiast and cat mom.

Leslie Bonilla Muñiz
Leslie Bonilla Muñiz

Leslie covers state government for the Indiana Capital Chronicle with emphases on elections, infrastructure and transportation. She previously covered city-county government for the Indianapolis Business Journal. She has also reported on local, national and international news for the Chicago Tribune, Voice of America and more. She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from Northwestern University.