By Kevin Rader
There is a crowded race for Congress in Indiana's 5th District, including a former deputy mayor of Indianapolis.
Seven Republicans are running for the seat left open by Rep. Dan Burton's retirement. The newly-drawn 5th District is mainly made up of Hamilton, Madison, Tipton and Grant counties, with portions of Marion, Boone, Howard and Blackford counties.
The large GOP field is made up of Jason Anderson, Susan Brooks, John Lugar, John McGoff, David McIntosh, William Salin and Wayne Seybold.
When Brooks decided to jump into the world of politics, she did so with an impressive background. The former deputy mayor of Indianapolis, former U.S. attorney and Ivy Tech executive knows exactly what she wants to do to create jobs in the 5th Congressional District.
"They do need a repeal of Obamacare. The health care costs for private job creators are too high and the new law did not fix that. They also say too many regulations getting in their way and they believe we have to reform the tax code and we have to get government spending down," Brooks said.
But in a seven-person field, getting that message out will not be easy. An old friend of Brooks' visited last week to help raise money and visibility for the candidate.
"You want a change agent. You want to change Washington D.C., send a leader down there who isn't part of the problem, hasn't been a lobbyist down there, who will try to change things and that is Susan Brooks," said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
It was clear Christie was referring to former Congressman-turned-lobbyist David McIntosh, who is currently under investigation by the secretary of state over a residency issue.
"And has lived in Virginia for a long time. The issue is, that he voted in Indiana and I believe the Supreme Court and the laws are clear, that you cannot live in another place, have a residency and a driver's license in another place and vote here," Brooks said.
But that question will most likely not be resolved before the primary, which means the Brooks campaign needs to win on its own merits May 8. As the only woman in the seven-person primary field, Brooks gives the voters a distinct choice in the 5th District, but the first-time politician believes her credentials will ultimately determine her fate.
On the Democrat's side, two candidates -- Tony Long and Scott Reske -- are competing in the party's May primary.