IN Brief

Spartz flips, announces she’s filing for reelection

By: - February 5, 2024 9:40 am

U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz testifies in front of a health committee in 2023. She announced her intent to run for reelection Monday, a reversal from last year when she announced she would be retiring from Congress. (Whitney Downard/Indiana Capital Chronicle)

U.S. GOP Rep. Victoria Spartz announced Monday she will file for reelection in the 5th Congressional District , a reversal from her position one year ago when she said she would be retiring from Congress. Previously, she said she wanted to spend more time with her family.

The decision leaves other Republicans who had been running in her absence — at least nine of them — in a lurch. And two so far say they are staying in the race.

Spartz acknowledged the flip-flop in a release, saying the state of today’s politics prompted her to run again.

“Deciding where your duty lies – family, work, or country, is never an easy task. Earlier last year, I decided to take some time off from running for public office to recharge and spend more time in Indiana with my family,” Spartz said. “However, looking where we are today, and urged by many of my constituents, I do not believe I would be able to deliver this Congress, with the current failed leadership in Washington, D.C., on the important issues for our nation that I have worked very hard on,”

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Spartz, a Ukrainian immigrant, has been vocal about her upbringing and how it informs her conservative political views.

“As someone who grew up under tyranny, I understand the significance of these challenging times for our Republic, and if my fellow Hoosiers and God decide, I will be honored to continue fighting for them. We must carry on the sacrifice of countless Americans for our liberties and keep the American dream alive for our children,” Spartz concluded in her announcement.

But the decision from Spartz throws a wrench into the plans of Republican candidates who have spent the last year fundraising in hopes of succeeding her. Candidates reported millions in contributions in the year-end reports to the Federal Election Commission, much of it in the form of self-funding.

That same filing shows Spartz reporting just under $104,000 in contributions for 2023. Her campaign reported spending nearly $1.4 million, $1.1 million of which was a loan repayment to herself. She ended with $313,000 cash on hand.

At least nine Republicans have filed for the safely red seat with the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office as of Monday.

Rep. Chuck Goodrich, R-Noblesville, said he is staying in the race.

“The 5th District can’t afford another two years of Victoria Spartz’s flip-flopping and putting America last. With woke insanity, a broken border, and out of control spending driving inflation, I will always put the people of this district first and never waiver on my conservative principles.”

Fellow Republican Max Engling also said he will not drop out of the contest.

“Congresswoman Spartz’s well-documented history of waffling on the issues and reelection campaign leaves Indiana families without a principled voice in Congress. Decisive conservative leadership means standing your ground when it comes to reducing the debt, fighting for Indiana families, and getting America back on track. I’m in this race to win and the Congresswoman’s latest announcement makes me more committed than ever to stay in this race, trust the Lord, and fight for family-first policies.”

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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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