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Green wins GOP primary; competitive U.S. House race on tap for Northwest Indiana

From the Primary election recap: An indicted sheriff cruises to victory, an incumbent loses and referendums pass series
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U.S. Rep. Frank J. Mrvan, D-Highland, speaks to supporters at Ciao Bella Tuesday after winning the Democratic nomination for Indiana's 1st Congressional District

Northwest Indiana is poised to have its first competitive congressional election in decades.

Unofficial results show Jennifer-Ruth Green, of Crown Point, prevailed Tuesday in the Republican primary for U.S. House District 1 over former LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo, perennial nominee Mark Leyva, of Highland, and four other GOP contenders.

Green, a U.S. Air Force veteran, next will compete in the Nov. 8 general election against U.S. Rep. Frank J. Mrvan, D-Highland, who easily vanquished Hammond school teacher Richard Fantin in the Democratic primary.

U.S. Rep. Frank J. Mrvan, D-Highland, speaks to supporters at Ciao Bella Tuesday after winning the Democratic nomination for Indiana's 1st Congressional District

The Republican nominee is optimistic she can defeat Mrvan and claim the 1st Congressional District of Lake, Porter and northwest LaPorte counties for the GOP for the first time since the district was centered on Northwest Indiana in the 1930s.

“Frank Mrvan pretends to be a moderate Democrat, but his record tells a different story," Green said. "Frank Mrvan has rubber-stamped the failed economic, energy, immigration and public safety policies of (President Joe) Biden and (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi that have led to soaring inflation, crushing gas prices, a border crisis and skyrocketing crime rates."

The Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball, two organizations that attempt to predict the outcome of the nation's 435 U.S. House contests every two years, believe Green might have a chance to knock off Mrvan if it turns out to be a better than expected year for the GOP.

They each recently reclassified the 1st District to "Leans Democratic," from "Likely Democratic,” based in part on Green’s ability to raise more than $300,000 ahead of the primary and line up prominent supporters, including Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, a Munster native; U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.; and former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Green primarily deployed that pile of cash to take out Milo by branding her in cable television ads and voter mailings as a "Never Trump Liberal” for withdrawing as a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention to avoid voting to officially designate Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee.

If Green prevails in November, she plans to focus in Congress on limiting government spending, scrapping regulations, banning abortion, promoting school choice, defending gun rights and eliminating “socialized” health care.

"I have been blessed to have the opportunity to serve our country in uniform for 22 years, and I look forward to earning the opportunity to represent Hoosiers and continue my service in Congress,” Green said.

"I want to give thanks to God, the voters, all of my supporters, contributors, volunteers, family and friends. Tonight’s victory truly was a team effort."

Mrvan, meanwhile, said his focus in a second term is continuing to back federal legislation that creates jobs and supports Northwest Indiana industries, such as the American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that he already helped become law.

Those measures, opposed by every Republican representing Indiana in Congress, are poised to bring billions of dollars for roads, bridges, schools, water pipes, rail service, public transit and health care services in the Region, as well as communities across the state.

Police are met with a myriad of tense situations and unpredictable occurrences that are seemingly impossible to prepare for, however, Hammond police Sgt. Aubrey Thomas does just that.

“I ran for Congress to address the pressing issues that individuals and families across our Region are facing every day,” Mrvan said. “I am seeking re-election to continue to serve as co-chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus and promote the importance of our domestic manufacturing industry and the working men and women of organized labor. Steel is critical to the Northwest Indiana economy and our national security.

“I will take on corporate welfare and work to hold corporations accountable if they are fleecing the American consumer, work to hold our trading partners accountable, and fight for trade that does not allow foreign countries to export their unemployment to our shores.”

Mrvan spent 16 years as trustee at Lake County’s North Township before winning election to Congress two years ago.

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