May 12, 2020

Four Democrats Participate In Indiana's 5th District Town Hall

The town hall was held virtually.  - Jill Sheridan WFYI

The town hall was held virtually.

Jill Sheridan WFYI

Four Democrats participated in a virtual Town Hall Tuesday night hosted by Indiana Town Halls. The candidates are vying for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District seat, which is being vacated by U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks.

The rush to get in the Congressional race came in wake of Brooks’ surprise announcement last year she would not seek reelection, after a fourth term. She is one of just a few Republican women in the House.

WATCH: Video of the Democratic Virtual Town Hall 

Watch: Video of the Republican Virtual Town Hall

The pandemic was top of mind and all four candidates agreed that the current administration's response has been lacking.

Questions posed to the four candidates centered around emergency response, immigration, health care and partisan divide.

Here are a few of the issues discussed:

COVID-19 Response

Christina Hale, a nonprofit executive and former state representative says she’s talked to many people who are concerned about the country’s lack of preparation.

"People expect the adults in charge to know what they are doing, to be there for the right reasons and to know what they are doing," says Hale, "There was not a plan for this catastrophe or likely for any other."

Businesswoman Dee Thornton says the pandemic is the crisis of our lifetime, and bi-partisan solutions are a must.

"We must have leaders, leaders who are willing together to solve big problems," says Thornton. "We can move our country past the politics of division and fear and prepare our country for the future."

Cimate Change 

Jennifer Christie, is a scientist who says she is the only candidate who has a laid out a climate change plan. She says it’s time for change in Washington. "This is our moment to take real action if we have the courage to do so," says Christie. 

Andy Jacobs, a lawyer and son of a former U.S. Representative, also leaned in on climate change. He says public transportation is a key solution.

"We need to get away from being a society that uses cars to commute," he says. "We need remote working to become the new standard."

The ACA

Jacobs believes in a single payer health care system. Thorton says the current system is broken. “We spend more than any other high income country in the world and we have the lowest life expectancy,” she says.

Immigration

Hale says all Americans have immigration stories.  Thornton says she "strongly supports reinstating DACA."

Fourteen Republicans met for a virtual town hall Monday night. Indiana’s primary elections will be held June 2.  To vote absentee, Hoosier must have their applications in by May 21.

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