To win Indiana’s 5th District Congressional seat, Democrat Christina Hale knows she’s going to have to reach across the political aisle.
The district has been represented by a Republican since its boundaries were formed in 2000, but this year it’s been labeled a “toss up” by nonpartisan The Cook Political Report and is expected to be one of the most competitive federal races in the state.
Hale’s opponents in the Nov. 3 general election are Republican Victoria Spartz, a state senator from Noblesville, and Ken Tucker, a Libertarian from Westfield. Hale received 40.8 percent of the vote in the May primary to beat out four other Democrats for the nomination. The congressional seat is being vacated by retiring Republican Susan Brooks.
Hale said her track record in the Indiana House of Representatives shows that she knows how to work with people outside her party.
“It’s pretty easy if you are sincere, if you take the time to develop personal and professional trust with everybody,” she said. “Most issues are human issues, they’re not Republican issues or Democrat issues. I’ve done a lot of work to protect vulnerable populations, such as children from sexual violence, and everybody cares about that.”
If elected, Hale said identifying other representatives willing to reach across the aisle will be among her first orders of business.
“No party has a monopoly on good ideas,” she said. “I couldn’t have gotten one bill passed (in the Indiana Legislature) if a Republican didn’t help me. I’m grateful for their help, and I’m going to pay that forward. I have a feeling I’m going to be serving in the majority for the first time, and I’m never going to forget what it feels like to be in the minority and needing the help from the other party to get something really important for my community done.”
Hale said among her top priorities is ensuring that affordable health care is available to all, whether through private or public plans. She became a single mom while a student at Purdue University and remembers the struggle to ensure her young son had health insurance, even when she couldn’t afford it for herself.
“I lived with that stress and anxiety and fear of knowing I was just one illness or accident away from economic devastation,” Hale said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified those feelings for many, Hale said, with scores of Hoosiers losing jobs that may not return. She said she is disappointed in the federal government’s response to the pandemic, and she wants to ensure the nation is better prepared for the next public health crisis.
“We’ve had enough time to chessboard this out and really have a considered response that would contain the disease in a way that would help us move through this period sooner, with fewer people contracting the disease and with fewer deaths,” she said. “I think it’s time Congress set this petty bickering aside and just get the things done that people need right now as we’re living through this crisis together.”
Before announcing her bid for the 5th District, Hale was the executive director of youth programs at Indianapolis-based service club Kiwanis International. She served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 2012 to 2016, when she unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor alongside gubernatorial candidate John Gregg.
Hale and her husband, Chris, reside in Indianapolis.
Learn more at HaleforCongress.com.