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WESTFIELD, Ind. — Republican Victoria Spartz has won the race for the Fifth Congressional District.

The election between the Noblesville state senator and Democrat Christina Hale continued well into the late hours of Wednesday evening as votes still had to be counted in Marion and Hamilton Counties. Spartz won with 50% of the vote to Hale’s 46%, Indiana’s closest congressional race in eight years.

Democrats hoped gains in local elections in Carmel and Fishers last year signaled the district was in play. Hale narrowed Republicans’ margin in Hamilton County by 9,000 votes, and

expanded Democrats’ dominance in Marion County. But Spartz swept the other six counties

in the district by margins similar to those posted by Susan Brooks, who’s retiring this year after four terms.

Spartz says the pandemic made it more challenging to get out and campaign, but says she’s

hopeful it’ll also create momentum to make changes in health care. She says doctors who may have

been skeptical of telemedicine in the past may embrace it after seeing it in action.

Spartz’s criticism of the federal health care law was a key issue in the campaign. She says she’ll argue in Congress against any centralization of health care.

No Indiana congressional seat has changed hands since 2012, and Democrats haven’t flipped a seat

since 2006.

Spartz will be one of two new members of Indiana’s congressional delegation. Frank J. Mrvan won

easily in northwest Indiana’s First District and will replace the longest-serving member of Indiana’s

delegation, fellow Democrat Pete Visclosky.

Hale’s campaign has conceded and congratulated Spartz on her victory.

“Today, I would like to acknowledge the effort of everyone who supported our campaign,” Hale said. “From our talented and hardworking staff to the hundreds of volunteers who spent hours phone-banking on our behalf, to the thousands who put up a yard sign, and everyone who contributed.”

“For more than a year, we spoke about protecting and expanding every Hoosiers’ right to affordable health care and promoting bipartisanship and civility in our politics. This was a historically close race, and our message clearly resonated with voters.”