Meet the candidates: U.S. House District 6

Editor’s note: Columbus resident Greg Pence, who also has announced his campaign, was unable to attend Wednesday’s forum.

Mike Crider is a lifelong Hancock County resident, who currently serves as the area’s state senator.

Crider admitted Wednesday he was struggling to bring in enough resources financially to carry the campaign through the spring but said his campaign is still going for now.

Crider worked as an Indiana Department of Natural Resources conservation officer for more than 30 years, having graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in 1981.

During his tenure with DNR, in 2003, Crider graduated from the prestigious FBI National Academy. His last four years with the agency were spent serving as its director.

He retired from law enforcement in 2006 and took a job as the head of security for Hancock Regional Hospital. It was there Crider said he learned the most about his community and the issues facing it. The job put him face to face with drug addicts, sexual assault victims and other vulnerable members of society, he said.

And it was the lessons he learned from those at-risk community members that drove him to a career in politics, he said.

Crider was first elected to the District 28 Senate seat in 2012; he was re-elected in 2016.

Crider describes himself as hardworking, the type of person who always took on extra responsibilities whenever asked of him. If given the chance, he’ll take that work ethic to Washington, he said.

Jonathan Lamb grew up in Delaware County and graduated from Ball State University with degrees in economics and risk management.

After graduation, he moved to the east coast to work as a commodity trader, overseeing a multi-billion dollar portfolio. He moved back to Indiana to settle down and grow his family.

Lamb calls himself a serial entrepreneur, having owned and operated several small businesses at the height of the recession, employing a workforce of about 50 people.

He has experience running a construction company, a childcare franchise, a wholesale distribution company, a plumbing company and a textile company. He currently runs an economic consulting firm and recently started an agriculture technology company in Muncie.

Lamb said he wants to use his experiences to build the nation’s workforce which will lead to better schools and a more robust economy.

Healthcare and the nation’s opioid crisis are a few other issues he feels are among the most important facing the 6th District. But he believes the solutions will come at the local level: states should oversee their own healthcare systems, and local governments should be given the money and resources they need to help their addicted neighbors, he said.

Stephen MacKenzie is an U.S. Air Force reservist and businessman. He previously lived in Fishers, but he and his family are currently building a home in northwestern Hancock County, campaign leaders said.

He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in District 5.

MacKenzie said his political beliefs and interest were first formed while sitting around his father’s dinner table while growing up on the east coast, he said. He considers a career in politics a chance to serve his community and told voters Wednesday he’d be honored if they sent him to Washington.

MacKenzie joined the military just before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He remains a member of the Air Force reserves.

MacKenzie spent 20 years working as an executive business consultant but lost his job during the economic recession. Six years ago, he took a minimum wage job to help make ends meet before returning to college to get his master’s degree. The experience taught him a lot about fiscal responsibility. If he’s sent to Congress, he’ll fight to eliminate wasteful spending and create a balanced budget, he said.

Border security and national defense are important issues to MacKenzie, he said. He believes the federal government must implement and enforce border control laws and give the military whatever resources it needs to keep Americans safe.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.