IN Focus: Spartz, Hale discuss key issues in 5th district race for Congress

INDIANAPOLIS – One of the most closely-watched congressional races in the country is right here in Central Indiana, with State Sen. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) taking on former State Rep. Christina Hale (D-Indianapolis) to replace outgoing Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), who is retiring at the end of the year.

Both candidates appeared on a special edition of IN Focus to answer questions on a variety of topics including the economy, climate change, health care and the coronavirus pandemic.

Spartz and Hale were asked if they would work to find middle ground in the negotiations to pass another economic relief bill.

“We absolutely need relief and we need it now. I’ve been meeting with people in the hospitality industry and the restaurant industry right here in the district. People need aid now,” said Hale.

“We have so much politics in Washington D.C. and not too much policy-making so we have a lot of drama,” said Spartz. “It’s just become a political battle.”

Hale was asked about various proposals to re-structure or “pack” the Supreme Court, in the wake of Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

“We haven’t changed the number of justices since the late 1800’s. And I think that kind of conversation is extremely pre-mature. We need to focus on the here and now,” said Hale.

“An idea of packing courts because somebody doesn’t like the process, I think it’s a very radical idea,” said Spartz. “When I hear it from the other side, I think it’s unfortunate. We have elections and elections have consequences.”

Campaign documents show Hale and Spartz both raised well over a million dollars in the most recent fundraising period, but both candidates are adamant those contributions won’t impact their actions in Congress.

“I think it’s important that voters pay attention, not to the party, but to the person and results,” said Spartz.

“I’m really proud to be endorsed by End Citizens United, which is a group dedicated to getting this big, dark money out of politics,” said Hale.

However, Libertarian candidate Ken Tucker said the impact of political donations is the very reason he has refused to fund raise, even if money is offered to his campaign.

“I think in the other sense it’s kind of empowering to be just me, and that’s all I’ve asked for from people is to get to know me,” said Tucker.

FOX59 also spoke with congressional candidates in other local races, including the sixth district, seventh district and ninth district:

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