GREENFIELD — Stephen Mac- Kenzie still remembers the first campaign he got behind. It was 1984, and President Ronald Reagan was seeking a second term.
Helping a candidate he supported get re-elected was inspiring to Mac- Kenzie, then a college student, and cemented his interest in politics and government.
It wasn’t until years later he ran for public office for the first time. MacKenzie, a businessman and Army reservist, is now running in the Republican primary for Indiana’s 6th District House of Representatives seat.
MacKenzie, president of Brand on Americas, an e-commerce business, previously resided in Fishers, which falls in Indiana’s 5th congressional district. During the 2016 spring primary, he unsuccessfully ran against two-term Rep. Susan Brooks.
He and his wife, Cynthia, chose nearby Fortville — an area they were long familiar with — for their new home after having talked for months about moving. As he nears the end of his military career, MacKenzie decided he’d run again for Congress to serve his country in a different way.
Mackenzie said he’s the candidate who will best understand Americans and the challenges they face, he said.
During the recession, MacKenzie was laid off from his job and had to work odd jobs to make ends meet.
He went back to school to earn his master’s degree in business administration while working a minimum-wage job before going back to work full time.
He knows there are many Americans who will relate to his story, he said.
He’s spent nearly 20 years in the Army and has been deployed overseas twice to serve during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Those experiences — coupled with his business experience — have helped him to fully understand the importance of national and economic security, he said.
City of residence: Fortville
Political party: Republican
Occupation: President of Brand on Americas
Family: Wife, Cynthia, three children
Political experience: Ran unsuccessfully for District 5 United States Representative in 2016