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3 Democrats vie for chance against Messer


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Three Democrats are seeking their party’s nomination in order to square off against Republican incumbent Luke Messer in Indiana’s 6th District congressional race in November’s general election.

Ohio County attorney Lane Siekman, Fayette County spa owner Corinne Westerfield and Jennings County resident Susan Hall Heitzman, a retired teacher, are competing in the May 6 primary to earn the Democratic Party’s nomination for U.S. representative.

Heitzman ran for the same office in 2012, losing in the primary to Brad Bookout. Hall received only $50 in campaign contributions but received 7,075 votes to Bookout’s 8,278. Hall has not raised any money for this election, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Westerfield also has not raised any money, while Siekman has raised $2,816 through March 31 and spent $1,1736, according to the commission.

Messer, who won the seat that Mike Pence gave up for his successful gubernatorial run, is unchallenged in his GOP primary. He has raised $708,551 and spent $408,181 through April 16, according to the FEC.

Siekman said he favors giving small businesses tax breaks and better access to credit to spur job creation. He supports revitalizing essential infrastructure; investing in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education initiatives and early learning; increasing the minimum wage; and allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prices with drug companies, according to his campaign website.

Westerfield said she is running to fight for those who struggle in the district and for equal representation for women, according to her Facebook page.

Heitzman ran in 2012 because she said she thought the district’s residents had not been truly represented and had fallen under the sway of party leadership and lobbyists. She expressed a desire to effect a cultural climate change.

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