IN Focus: Mitchell, Brizzi on race for Congress, coronavirus crisis

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INDIANAPOLIS – Two of the leading candidates in a crowded congressional primary appeared on this week’s edition of IN Focus to discuss the campaign and the ongoing global pandemic.

State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell and former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi are two of the many candidates seeking the GOP nomination in Indiana’s fifth congressional district, with the seat currently being held by retiring Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN).

While much of the focus lately has been squarely on the COVID-19 pandemic, the contested primary has begun to make news in political circles in recent days ahead of next month’s primary.

Brizzi responded to claims that he and his wife were delinquent on their taxes, calling the matter a “disagreement” with the IRS about how much was owed. The allegations first surfaced in a recent campaign mailer from the Club for Growth, which is supporting one of Brizzi’s opponents, State Sen. Victoria Spartz.

Spartz currently leads the Republican field when it comes to cash on hand, but also faced questions this week about the source of a recent personal campaign loan, questions the Spartz campaign called a “nasty, false, misogynistic attack” in a statement this week.

Mitchell has led fellow Republicans in contributions from individuals, but is a distant fifth in terms of cash-on-hand. Nonetheless, she tells us she’s not too concerned about her standing.

While the district has been reliably Republican through the years, Democratic candidate Christina Hale has outpaced her GOP rivals when it comes to campaign cash, with Democrats at the national level targeting this district as one they’re hoping to flip in November.

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