A Democrat stronghold in Indiana may turn red this year

Indiana's 1st Congressional District has been a safe seat for Democrats for nearly a century.  However, Jennifer-Ruth Green, a first-time political candidate, is making headlines as she challenges incumbent Congressman Frank Mrvan in the 2022 general election.

Green's campaign describes her as a "trailblazer," a "selfless servant," and a "battle-proven leader," with over twenty years of experience as a combat veteran in the Air Force in Baghdad and starting a faith-based nonprofit organization in northwest Indiana.

Green's decision to run for office did not come lightly.  Her turning point moment came when House speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up President Trump's 2020 State of the Union speech.  "For me, it just said that on the highest levels of the world stage, when people look at us, they'll know that we're divided."  She believes that it is time to end the failed status quo and elect leaders to Washington who will represent America's and Indiana's 1st District's constituents.

Sabato's Crystal Ball and the Cook Political Report changed their prediction analysis by moving Indiana's 1st Congressional District from "leans Democrat" to "tossup."  Managing editor Kyle Kondik of Sabato's Crystal Ball explained, "This working-class, post-industrial northwest Indiana district has seen its Democratic lean erode in the Donald Trump era, even though Biden still carried it by 8 points.  But Democrats have been losing ground in these kinds of districts in recent years, so we're calling it a Tossup now."

Green's campaign recently released its fundraising numbers for the second quarter, which showed historic numbers.  Over $650,000 raised from 7,000 donors shows how much the conservative grassroots movement supports Green's candidacy.  Not only did Green raise more money than her opponent in the last three months, but she outraised Congressman Mrvan's whole 2020 congressional campaign, with total cash of $631,000.  Green has raised more money than any Republican candidate in the history of Indiana's 1st Congressional District.

Green's communications director, Kevin Hansberger, credits Green's appeal as a candidate as to why the race is now a tossup.  "Indiana's First Congressional District is a tossup because Jennifer-Ruth Green is a strong candidate with a record of service to our nation and Indiana, and fresh ideas to solve problems and find common ground where career politicians like Frank Mrvan have failed."

Republican campaign ads continue hammering at Mrvan's record of causing high fuel prices.  In a recent event at a gas station in Hobart, Ind., former vice president and fellow Hoosier Mike Pence accompanied Green to talk to voters as Americans for Prosperity lowered gas prices to $2.38 —  the exact price they were when President Biden took office.  "It's an honor to be here today just to hear more and learn more about the realities that the current economic situation causes our people," said Green.

Green's top priorities are limiting government regulations, fiscal responsibility in Washington, and creating job opportunities for residents in Gary and the surrounding suburbs of the 1st district.  She recently came out against the Democrats' "Deficit Reduction Act," supported by President Biden.  Green called the legislation "a massive spending bill that raises taxes on Americans at a time when inflation is at a 40-year high and our economy is entering a recession."  According to Green, Democrat leadership and Congressman Mrvan are responsible for the economic pain and budgeting her constituents are dealing with."  "Hoosiers deserve better and are going to get better come November."

Jennifer-Ruth Green is supported within the Republican establishment by former secretary of state Mike Pompeo; Senator Tom Cotton; and Republican Conference chairwoman Elise Stefanik, who runs a PAC to elect more conservative women to Congress.  Green's support is also broad within the grassroots and MAGA base, with former Trump adviser Steve Cortez and Indiana Right to Life.

She is one of 81 black candidates to run in a primary on the GOP ticket and would be the second black Republican woman elected to the House.  "Being a conservative black Republican isn't a thing for me. ... I embraced these principles as a young person, and this is the party that allows me to apply them most effectively."

As Republicans are poised to take back the House, Jennifer-Ruth Green is looking to build upon a coalition of black, Latino, and non-traditional Republican voters and deliver a historic victory in northwestern Indiana. 

Image: JenRuth Green via YouTube.

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