By Rohith Rao
This article is part of our series shining the spotlight on minority candidates running for U.S. and state Senate and House races from states all across the country. This week we start of with an analysis of midterm races in the state of Indiana.
(D), 5th Congressional District
Thornton is running against incumbent Rep. Susan Brooks in a district that hasn’t seen a Democrat elected since 1993. Owing to her past as a basketball player and her illustrious career at Xerox, she strongly values hard work and fairness. With her athletic slogan, ‘Game On’, she promises to play for the home team while in Congress and not for the highest bidder.
(D), 6th Congressional District
Lake’s run against the Republican candidate Greg Pence, Vice President Mike Pence’s older brother, promises to be an interesting one. She’s actively involved with serving her community and intends to be part of a new wave of Hoosier leaders that stand for regular Americans and not just the rich elite.
3. André Carson
(D), 7th Congressional District
Having served in the House since 2008, Rep. André Carson will be looking to secure his place for a 6th consecutive time. During his time in congress, he has played a vital role in issues concerning the economy, national security and infrastructure. Being one of only two Muslims serving in Congress, he is committed to protecting equal rights and religious freedom for all.
4. Zaki Ali
(R), State Senate District 25
Ali, a trial lawyer from the Indianapolis region boasting a commendable track record, will be challenging the Democrat, current Indiana Senate Minority Leader Timothy Lanane, who has served in the state Senate since 1997.
5. Poonam Gill
(D), State House District 88
Poonam Gill is a refreshing new candidate who, with her engineering background, is committed to promoting STEM programs in local schools and greater representation for women in Indiana politics. Faced with the challenge of defeating Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma who has served in the state House since 1986, she is definitely a candidate to watch out for this election.
6. Chris Chyung
(D), State House District 15
The 25-year-old candidate, Chris Chyung, is running an ambitious campaign to defeat incumbent state Rep. Harold Slager. Being strongly opposed to corporate donations to campaigns, Chyung believes that legislators should be held accountable only to their voters. His vast experience as a community volunteer coupled with his progressive political beliefs makes him one of the most interesting candidates to watch out for these midterms.
(D), State House District 1
Jackson is running with the promise of bringing a bold and progressive voice to the Indiana State House. She takes great pride in her successful accomplishments as a probation officer helping turn around the lives of convicted felons and also in her community service in the cities of Whiting and Hammond in North East Indiana.
8. Joe Taylor III
(D), State House District 7
Incumbent state Rep. Joe Taylor III will be running to defend his seat these midterms. His work as an assembler at AM General, a civilian and military automobile plant, and as president of the Local 5 chapter of the United Automobile Workers union exemplifies his strong leadership skills and his ability to find consensus across the aisle.
9. Delano Scaife
(D), State House District 11
Scaife, a deputy sheriff from Lake County will be looking to challenge incumbent state Rep. Michael Aylesworth. His experience in government service and the years of grassroots work he has done in his community make him a strong contender for this seat.
10. Jorge Fernandez
(D), State House District 50
Fernandez, a high school science teacher in Allen County will be running for the second time in his attempt to defeat incumbent state Rep. Dan Leonard who has served the state House since 2002.