Rep. Victoria Spartz faces Indiana primary fight

Washington — Rep. Victoria Spartz, an Indiana Republican and the first Ukrainian-born member of Congress, is facing a primary challenge for her seat on Tuesday. 

Spartz was first elected in 2020 and reelected in 2022 by more than 20 points against a Democratic opponent. She announced in February of 2023 that she would not seek reelection, saying she needed to spend more time with her family, before reversed her decision a year later.

“As someone who grew up under tyranny, I understand the significance of these challenging times for our Republic, and if my fellow Hoosiers and God decide, I will be honored to continue fighting for them,” Spartz said in a statement at the time.

But the initial bowing out seemed to prompt a handful of challengers to enter the race for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. 

Spartz faces eight challengers in Tuesday’s primary, with Indiana state Rep. Chuck Goodrich appearing to be her chief opposition, outraising Spartz by a wide margin after Spartz’ late entry into the race. Goodrich criticized Spartz when she entered the race, saying the district “can’t afford another two years of Victoria Spartz’s flip-flopping and putting America last.”

Rep. Victoria Spartz speaks during a news conference on May 01, 2024 in Washington, DC.
Rep. Victoria Spartz speaks during a news conference on May 01, 2024 in Washington, DC. 

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

For Spartz, the primary will likely be a test of how well her decision last month to oppose around $60 billion in foreign aid for Ukraine plays in her district. Despite previously voting in favor of aid to her homeland, Spartz took a more conservative approach to the funds in April, advocating for more oversight of the aid.

The primary could also be an indicator of how Republican voters view aid to Ukraine more broadly. The issue has become more contentious among congressional Republicans in recent months, long stalling the effort to provide the country with support in its war against Russia. 

Tuesday’s primary in Indiana also features a highly competitive race to replace term-limited Gov. Eric Holcomb. Sen. Mike Braun, an Indiana Republican, is considered to be the frontrunner in the six-way GOP primary.

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