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Second Republican vying to represent Indiana House District 16
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Second Republican vying to represent Indiana House District 16

Second Republican vying to represent Indiana House District 16

Bryan Washburn, right, former CEO of the Jasper County REMC, is running next year for the Republican nomination to represent Indiana House District 16 at the Statehouse. He's pictured with his wife, Michelle Washburn.

DEMOTTE — A self-described "pro-life, pro-gun, and pro-Trump" conservative is running in the May 3 primary election for the Republican nomination in Indiana House District 16.

Bryan Washburn, of DeMotte, said he wants to serve at the Statehouse because he believes Indiana needs more people from different walks of life writing its laws, instead of career politicians.

"As a younger man, I was fortunate to earn a job with a local energy company. My career took me from a groundman to a lineman and eventually to the job of CEO for Jasper County REMC," Washburn said.

"That is what this country is all about, making the most of opportunities. I think our leaders in government have forgotten that hard working people are what make this nation great — not politicians and government programs."

House District 16 comprises most of Jasper County in Northwest Indiana, along with parts of Starke, Pulaski, and White counties.

The current officeholder, state Rep. Doug Gutwein, R-Francesville, announced in September he will not seek an eighth two-year House term next year.

State Rep. Don Lehe, R-Brookston, who was drawn into the district in October during the once-a-decade redistricting process overseen by the Republican-controlled General Assembly, also is planning to retire following the 2022 legislative session — creating a rare open-seat race in the 16th District.

So far, one other Republican is running in next year's primary election: Jasper County Commissioner Kendell Culp, of Rensselaer.

No Democrats have announced a bid for the seat.

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