Economy, elections, energy big stakes for the candidates of the 6th district
In May, Republican voters in the newly redrawn 6th congressional district will choose between an established incumbent aiming to continue the work he started and a challenger who feels he best represents the modern GOP.
Greg Pence has served as the 6th District seat since he was first elected in 2018. Through his service to important congressional subcommittees focused on energy and consumer protections, Pence wants to continue the progress he helped to do at this crucial moment in the country’s history.
His opponent, James Dean Alspach, says his views and values align more closely with the modern Republican Party.
Indiana’s 6th Congressional District was recently redrawn following the 2020 census and will include the entirety of Johnson County in this election. Previously, Johnson County was part of the 9th District, currently represented by Trey Hollingsworth.
In addition to Johnson County, the 6th District includes much of eastern central Indiana, including Columbus, Rushville, New Castle, and parts of Indianapolis.
The winner of the Republican primary between Pence and Alspach will face the Democratic candidate – Cynthia Wirth or George Thomas Holland – in November.
“Duty of interests”
Alspach is making his first run for the 6th District, having run for the House of Representatives in the 2018 9th District Republican primary.
An independent contractor from Morgantown, he felt compelled by his faith to run for office. He was fascinated by politics from an early age and made serving in Congress a goal from childhood, he said.
His views align closely with those of former President Donald Trump, and Alspach reportedly works to pursue a number of Trump-backed programs and initiatives.
The hope is to appeal to people who support the same agenda, he said.
“I’m just trying to play on the feelings of voters who have recently come into the voting market, just because of Trump,” he said.
Alspach’s main objective is to preserve the integrity of elections. He pointed to issues that arose in ballot legitimacy and discrepancies in recent elections, and would work to ensure the veracity of the system, he said.
“We need to have serious discussions about our voting system,” he said. “The potential for wrongdoing exists, and it has been a recurring problem.”
Alspach would also tackle the economic problems facing the 6th arrondissement. The areas included in the district have seen impressive economic development with additional potential, and he would like to see them grow, he said.
He pointed to the southeastern part of the 6th District, near Cincinnati, which must exploit the economic potential present in this region.
With a background in agriculture, Alspach would also work to support the farming community in the district.
Overall, his tenure would be dedicated to the underrepresented in the district, he said.
“In any democracy, you have a duty to the interests of the minority as well as to the majority. I think my background makes me uniquely capable of addressing issues important to women, workers, the disabled and minorities,” he said.
“Let’s Go Get Them”
Pence, a Columbus resident, is seeking his third term as district representative.
Although he served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committees, as well as the Foreign Affairs Committee during his first term, he noted that his work on the House Energy and consumer protection had motivated him to seek re-election.
In particular, his time on the Energy Sub-Committee illustrated the work that needs to be done to improve the country’s energy infrastructure. Pence, who has worked with a number of distribution-focused oil companies, says his contribution has been and can continue to be of particular value. In particular, he wants to ensure that the transition to electric vehicles is done correctly.
“One of the things I want to continue to bring to the table in the energy business is how you distribute energy, period,” he said. “There are a whole lot of things as we move towards a global solution to the problems of climate change and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. We have to do it very carefully and practically.
Pence also highlighted the continued importance of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, and the work these industries are doing in the United States to become less harmful to the environment.
“We have the cleanest fossil fuel in the world. In many international agreements, many countries are not required to do anything,” he said.
Through his work in consumer protection, Pence wants to focus on the technology sector and the big business of personal data. The electronics, apps, social media, and other technologies that people use every day collect tons of data from users, and that data is sold without people’s knowledge.
“There are issues we need to address. A lot of people are talking about how they banned free speech there. My goal is to find out why I’m not getting paid for all this information that you collect and sell,” he said.
If elected, Pence will work to continue creating job opportunities in the 6th District, including Johnson County. He pointed to the economic growth the county has experienced over the past decade. He wants to continue to facilitate this expansion.
“What Indiana’s 6th District faces are opportunities, so let’s go get them,” he said.