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State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon

State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon

MUNSTER — Another candidate appears to be preparing to enter the contest to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Gary, in Congress.

State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, tweeted Thursday that she's "been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement I have received urging me to run for the 1st Congressional District."

"I expect to make an announcement next week. Stay tuned!"

If she runs, Candelaria Reardon would be the fourth candidate actively seeking the Democratic nomination, including Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., North Township Trustee Frank J. Mrvan, and Valparaiso attorney Jim Harper.

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State Rep. Ragen Hatcher, D-Gary, who previously announced a bid for the Indiana Senate also is believed to be considering a congressional campaign, along with up to a half-dozen more Democratic officials and community leaders in Lake, Porter and western LaPorte counties.

So far, no Republicans have publicly expressed interest in running for the seat Visclosky has held since 1985, likely because no Republican ever has won the state's 1st District since it was centered on Northwest Indiana in the 1930s.

Candelaria Reardon has represented Munster, Highland, Griffith and Hammond's south side at the Statehouse since 2006, except in 2015 and 2016 when the district was represented by Republican Bill Fine.

Fine has since moved from Munster to central Indiana to serve as Indiana's Utility Consumer Counselor.

But his 2014 victory over Candelaria Reardon shows House District 12 is competitive for Republicans, and perhaps more so without an incumbent Democrat on the ballot.

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