Meet Some of the Women Running for Office in Indiana in 2020

A handy guide of who's who on the central Indiana political scene—because November will be here before we know it.
women running for office indiana 2020

The 2020 General Election has many offices on the ballot beyond who will become the 46th President of the United States. Here in Indiana, voters will elect new congressional leaders, county judges, state senators and reps among other local offices. Nationally, there has been a groundswell of women running for office and the Hoosier state is no different.

Read on for a list of Central Indiana women on the ballot—and make sure you are registered to vote, too. 

Christina Hale, Democrat

“Throughout my career, as a nonprofit leader and state legislator, I’ve been able to identify the problems facing my community, and work with anyone and everyone to get the job done. We need more of that in Washington, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do when I’m elected to serve,” Hale says on her website

What office is she running for?

United States Representative, Fifth District

Who is she?

Hale is a former non-profit leader and only the second Latina ever elected to the Indiana General Assembly. The Purdue grad, who raised her son as a single parent while in school, has outraised her Republican opponent and snagged endorsements from many political heavy hitters including, former POTUS Barack Obama.  

Key Issues:

Lowering health care costs

Reducing violence in schools by enacting common-sense ideas like universal background checks for gun purchases

Raising minimum wage

Where to find her online:

www.haleforcongress.com

Victoria Spartz, Republican

“Hoosiers have a clear choice between my record of standing up to the establishment in both parties and working with Governor (Eric) Holcomb to strengthen our economy, protect Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions, and make government more efficient and effective, and Christina Hale’s record of opposing all the major reforms of Governors Daniels, Pence and Holcomb that led to record prosperity in Indiana’s 5th district,” Spartz has said. 

What office is she running for?

United States Representative, Fifth District

Who is she?

Growing up in socialist Ukraine, Spartz says, influenced her present conservative mindset when it comes to politics. The finance professional and serial entrepreneur is a founding member of the Hamilton County Tea Party and helped with President Trump’s campaign. Spartz currently serves as State Senator for District 20 and co-authored legislation that would require counties to increase security measures during election season.

Key Issues:

Protecting the Second Amendment

Border security

Healthcare reform

Where to find her online:

www.spartzforcongress.com

Susan Marie Smith, Republican

I want to continue to support the current Administration’s effort to create a friendly tax environment. I want to continue to push for deregulation in the business sector. Washington needs to take cues from Indiana, creating a business-friendly environment which in turns attracts well-paying jobs,” she says on her site.

What office is she running for?

United States Representative, Seventh District

Who is she?

Smith, a Fort Wayne native, has worked for the City of Indianapolis in the Department of Metropolitan Development, as an attorney representing U.S. veterans and as an online teacher for youth in the juvenile system. Though she lost her first two campaigns (Warren Township Small Claims Court in 2014 and Indianapolis City Council in 2018), Smith feels those experiences have prepared her to take on longtime incumbent Andre Carson for the seventh district congressional seat.

Key Issues:

—Criminal Justice Reform

“Whole-life” (advocating for rights of the “pre-born”)

Deregulating the business sector

Where to find her online:

www.susanmariesmith.com

 

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Belinda Drake, Democrat

“The fact is our state legislature has been grossly negligent in addressing systemic racism for far too long and it can’t be ignored anymore. We must pass bills that require annual implicit bias training and de-escalation training for law enforcement officers. We must pass bills that address racial profiling and provide for a confidential whistleblower complaint process for law enforcement officers,” Drake said

What office is she running for?

State Senator, District 32

Who is she?

Drake, a longtime devotee of the Democratic Party, first took her steps into public office during a highly publicized run for Indianapolis City Council. Though she did not emerge the victor in that bout, Drake pivoted to pursue a run for state senate. The 32-year-old professional project planner has served on the board for the IN Stonewall Democrats and is presently the 7th District Chair for the Indiana Young Democrats.

Key Issues:

Marijuana decriminalization and legislation

—Hate crimes legislation

Gun regulation

Where to find her online:

www.belindadrake.com

 

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#TeamDrake is ready. Are you? 🙌🏾🏁 #election2020 #peopleoverpolitics #believeinbelinda #believers #indiana

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Jean D. Breaux, Democrat

“To Hoosiers and Americans across the country, don’t stop organizing. Keep demonstrating by demanding that your elected leadership hear your demands for change. Insist that the rights and benefits of the Constitution of the United States be applied equally and fairly to black men, women and all peoples of color. And above all, vote. It has changed history,” she wrote on Facebook

What office is she running for?

State Senator, District 34 (unopposed)

Who is she?

Breaux has served as District 34 state senator since her appointment in 2006 and has run unopposed in the past two election cycles. In the last legislative session, she voted yes on a bill that raised the legal age to marry in Indiana from 15 to 16 also indicating that the spouse could not be more than four years their senior. Breaux also sponsored a piece of legislation (HB 1009) which created more access to TANF, SNAP and Medicare eligibility for Hoosier families.

Key Issues:

Gun regulation

Increased federal funding for healthcare

Affordable housing

Where to find her online:

www.indianasenatedemocrats.org/senators/s34/

Cynthia L. Kirchhofer, Republican

“Whether buying a prescription or preparing for an elective surgery, the cost of health care is top-of-mind for many Hoosiers. We have taken steps to make healthcare more transparent overall and help individuals make informed decisions,” she said.  

What office is she running for?

State Representative, District 089

Who is she?

Kirchhofer, who just served her third term representing District 89, has also served on the Marion County Citizens Police Complaint Board and as Vice President of the Beech Grove Redevelopment Commission. In the 2019-2020 session she helped to create legislation that addressed public health issues such as restricting minor’s access to smoking/vaping tobacco and increasing organ donation among others.

Key Issues:

Regulating healthcare costs

Job creation

Maternal/infant health

Where to find her online:

www.indianahouserepublicans.com/members/general/cindy-kirchhofer

Renee Pack, Democrat 

“Adequate funding for Indiana public schools has to be a priority for lawmakers. I stand in opposition of any cuts to our public educational system, educators, and students,” says Pack. 

What office is she running for?

State Representative, District 092 (unopposed)

Who is she?

Pack, a parent and community liaison for Wayne Township schools, has secured the endorsement of the Indiana State Teacher’s Association among others along her clear road to victory. Pack is one of a few candidates running for General Assembly seats totally unopposed and will be replacing Rep. Karlee Macer who retires in November.

Key Issues:

Increased funding for public schools

Full benefits for US veterans

Support for labor unions

Where to find her online:

www.facebook.com/ReneePackintheHouse

   

Angela Elliott, Democrat

We need women who are competent and caring and ready to do the job to step up and run for these offices,” Elliott says

What office is she running for?

State Representative, District 093

Who is she?

A lifelong Hoosier and resident of District 93 for over 20 years, Elliott who has worked as an IT professional and business consultant, is ready to apply that experience to “challenge the status quo,” in Indiana. Elliott has garnered the support of veteran lawmakers like Linda Lawson and an endorsement from the Gay-Straight Coalition of Northwest Indiana.

Key Issues:

Public education

Environmental legislation

—Diverse representation in local government

Where to find her online:

www.elliottforindiana.com

Cherrish S. Pryor, Democrat

“Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic and racial justice are taking center stage, but those things impact several different areas such as education, economic equality and housing. I look forward to taking what I learn during these next several months and using that knowledge to create legislative action,” Pryor said.

What office is she running for?

State Representative, District 094

Who is she?

Pryor has represented District 94 since 2008 and is currently the Indiana House Democratic Caucus floor leader and a member of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus. She currently works for the Marion County Treasurer’s Office as chief deputy. During her service as legislator, she has advocated for voting rights, a bias crimes law and led efforts to prevent rate increases for IPL customers to subsidize the ill-fated BlueIndy car service.

Key Issues:

Wage equity

Neighborhood revitalization

Bias crimes legislation

Where to find her online:

indianahousedemocrats.org/members/cherrish-pryor

Robin Shackleford, Democrat

“In our community, we have so many disparities … whether in economic development, education, health care, or social and criminal justice reform. We (Indiana Black Legislative Caucus) want to make sure that the African American community around the state actually has a voice. We’re here to be that voice,” she told the IBJ

What office is she running for?

State Representative, District 098 (unopposed)

Who is she?

Shackleford was first elected to the Indiana General Assembly in 2012 and is the current chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus and vice-president of the Women’s POWER Caucus. While in office, she has worked to pass laws that would improve public health and food access for Hoosiers. In 2014, she led efforts to bring telemedicine to Indiana patients.

Key Issues:

—Public health

Food insecurity

Criminal justice reform

Where to find her online:

 indianahousedemocrats.org/members/robin-shackleford

Vanessa J. Summers, Democrat

“We have the third-highest mortality rate in the nation. The Indiana General Assembly is aware. And we are going to work very hard from here on out to make sure that women are safe giving childbirth,” she told Fox59

What office is she running for?

State Representative, District 099 (unopposed)

Who is she?

Summers has served as state rep for District 99 since being appointed in 1991 following the death of her father and former state rep Del. Joseph W. Summers. She is the first woman as well as first African American to become Indiana House Democratic caucus chair. Presently, she works as the coordinator of the National Diabetes Prevention Program at the Indiana Minority Health Coalition in Indianapolis. Earlier this year she formed a maternal health caucus to address disparities in childbirth.

Key Issues:

Maternal and infant mortality

Re-entry/recidivism

Public health

Where to find her online:

indianahousedemocrats.org/members/vanessa-summers

Follow Ebony Marie Chappel on Twitter @ebonythewriter.


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