Group to host congressional forum

GREENFIELD — Greenfield will welcome three of the four Republicans running for Congress next week for a forum to introduce them to voters.

Hancock County Young Republicans is hosting one of this election season’s first gatherings, inviting the men seeking their party’s nomination to run for the District 6 U.S. House of Representatives seat to meet with the folks they’d represent.

Candidates Mike Crider, Stephen MacKenzie and Jonathan Lamb plan to attend. Greg Pence of Columbus told organizers he couldn’t attend because of a prior commitment. The forum begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Hancock County Courthouse Annex, 111 American Legion Place.

U.S. Rep. Luke Messer’s term representing the 6th District, which spans 19 counties from Delaware to Jefferson, is up next year. Rather than seek re-election, he’s running in next year’s spring Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

The event is open to the public, and its location was changed from Chicago’s Pizza — where it was originally advertised to take place — to the courthouse annex in anticipation of a large crowd.

Each candidate will be given about 10 minutes to introduce himself to those in attendance and talk about his campaign, said Holly Gillham, chairwoman of Hancock County Young Republicans.

Residents will be able to meet with the candidates one on one to talk about issues important to them, she said.

The organization wants to give residents a chance to learn more about the candidates they’ll vote for in the spring while giving the organization’s leaders an opportunity to plan important events, Gillham said.

The candidates are:

Mike Crider: A Greenfield resident, Crider has served as Hancock County’s senator since 2013. He worked for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for 30 years as a conservation officer.

Jonathan Lamb: Lamb of Muncie is a businessman and entrepreneur. He is the owner of OptoeV Inc. He has a master’s degree in business administration.

Stephen MacKenzie: MacKenzie is an Army reservist and businessman. He previously ran unsuccessfully for Congress in District 5 but now lives in Fortville.

Greg Pence: A Columbus resident, Pence is a businessman who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He’s the brother of Vice President Mike Pence, who held Messer’s seat for 12 years.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.