IN Brief

Fifth Congressional District sees another candidate

By: - September 11, 2023 10:04 am
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Four candidates are vying for the Fifth Congressional District seat left open after incumbent U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz declined to run. (Getty Images)

When U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz declined to run for re-election, she opened up her Fifth Congressional District seat for the taking — with the list growing to four candidates following a weekend announcement.

Raju Chinthala, a speech-language pathologist and business owner, released an advertisement Saturday proclaiming his intention to run for the vacancy.

“I will be a leader who truly serves you and believes in freedom from government intrusion in our daily lives,” Chinthala said. “… I’m running to give back to this nation; I’m running to be your true conservative voice in Washington D.C.”

According to the Federal Election Commission, Chinthala joins three other Republicans interested in the seat: State Rep. Chuck Goodrich, trucking business owner Siddarth Mahant and Matthew Peiffer, president of Muncie nonprofit A Voice for Kids.

Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings withdrew from the race last month following a “significant health event,” according to the Anderson Herald-Bulletin.

Both leading fundraisers are candidates who loaned $1 million each to their campaigns in the most recent quarter: Mahant and Goodrich, of Noblesville. Goodrich has raised an additional $280,000.

No Democrats have filed to run for the seat, according to the FEC. The Indiana Secretary of State’s website doesn’t yet include a list of 2024 candidates.

Previously, the fifth district was slightly competitive and attracted national dollars and attention but became more safely Republican following redistricting in 2021 with the exclusion of Marion County. The Fifth Congressional District includes the municipalities of Anderson, Kokomo, Muncie, Noblesville, Marion and Tipton.

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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.

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