Columbus teacher plans 2nd candidacy for state Senate seat

Seymour woman: People ‘concerned their voice is being ignored’

BY JANUARY RUTHERFORD | For The Republic

A Columbus school teacher is planning to run a second straight time in the Republican primary for Indiana House District 69.

Nancy Franke, who lives in Seymour, will again try to unseat State Rep. Jim Lucas, also of Seymour.

Franke lost to Lucas in the primary election in May 2016, and Lucas was unopposed in the 2016 November general election.

Franke, who announced her plans Monday, said has a strong desire to serve the district, which includes Bartholomew, Jackson, Jefferson and Jennings counties.

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“I believe our district deserves better,” she said. “As complex issues consistently change, District 69 must have a representative who speaks with the voice of the people and actually gets the job done.”

Franke said it’s time for Hoosiers’ interests and values to be heard and protected while maintaining fiscal responsibility and economic opportunity.

“Many constituents are concerned their voice is being ignored because they do not have an effective advocate at the table where the decisions are being made at the Statehouse,” she said.

Lucas, who is serving his third two-year term, has received a lot of publicity for his pro-gun-rights stances and legislation.

The small business owner said he has every intention of running again but hasn’t ruled out a bid for a higher office, possibly the U.S. Senate seat in Washington, D.C., currently held by Democrat Joe Donnelly.

“I will continue to represent our district with everything I have. And if there is an opportunity to better represent the people, I believe it should at least be considered,” Lucas said.

Franke, a Lutheran schoolteacher in Columbus, said the district and state continue to struggle with challenges, which she feels are being ignored by current leaders.

“The growing drug and substance epidemic continues to invade the very thread of every community,” she said.

“We need someone representing and fighting for the hardworking people here,” Franke said. “That means continued work on providing the best education for our children, keeping our promises and ensuring safe and viable communities in which to work and live.”

Franke is in her seventh year serving on the Seymour Community School Corp. board of trustees and helped develop the Jackson County Drug Awareness Action Team. She also is a legislative liaison with the Indiana School Boards Association and is a member of the Richard G. Lugar Leadership Class.

“One promise I know I resolve to preserve is that I will be the voice of our constituents in our district, and not big government,” she said.

Candidates for the 2018 elections can begin to file for office in January.