GOP candidate drops out of District 6 race

By Samm Quinn | For The Republic

GREENFIELD — A Greenfield lawmaker has dropped out of the 6th District race for Congress.

In a Facebook post Monday, Sen. Mike Crider, R-Greenfield, announced he’s withdrawing from May’s Republican primary for Indiana’s 6th District Congress seat.

Crider said he doesn’t have the financial support needed to continue his campaign.

It was a concern he alluded to during a recent public appearance. During a political forum held last week among the candidates, Crider said money was tight, and he wasn’t sure whether he’d stay in the race.

Crider, who has represented Hancock County in the state Senate since 2013, was the first candidate to announce he’d run for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Luke Messer. His announcement came in late July, one day after Messer announced he was running for U.S. Senate.

Since then, three other candidates have joined the race, including Columbus resident Greg Pence, brother of Vice President Mike Pence, who held the District 6 seat for 12 years. Stephen MacKenzie of Fortville and Jonathan Lamb of Muncie are also in the running for the GOP nomination.

Crider said his campaign team did a poll to measure Crider’s name recognition in District 6. The area encompasses 19 counties from Delaware to Jefferson and including Hancock.

The campaign learned Crider wasn’t well known, especially compared with Pence, and concluded he’d need a lot more advertising to get his name out there, especially near the Indianapolis and the Louisville area.

That advertising — mailers and TV spots — are too expensive for his campaign to afford, he said.

Crider said he knew from the beginning running for Congress would be expensive, and he couldn’t support the campaign with his own funding.

“… We have determined that we do not and likely will not have the ability to spread our message as widely as will be required to achieve victory in May,” he wrote on Facebook.

Crider said he’s at peace with his decision and told supporters following the campaign he knows he’s not alone in facing challenges that can pull quality candidates from the ballot.

“I realize that this scenario is likely playing out in races all across the country,” he wrote in the announcement. “People who would be quality candidates simply cannot participate because they cannot afford to self-finance campaigns, and the political establishment locks down the remaining financial support.”

Crider said he’s now turned his attention to this year’s General Assembly, where he’s filing a number of bills he said he believes will make a difference in the lives of Hoosiers.

The legislative session begins Jan. 3.

“The trust that the people I represent have placed in me remains the honor of my lifetime,” he said.