Southern Indiana

The race to replace outgoing Indiana Congressman Trey Hollingsworth has its first candidate.

Hollingsworth, a Republican based in Jeffersonville, announced Wednesday he won’t seek reelection to represent Indiana’s 9th District in the U.S. House of Representatives this year. Less than 24 hours later, state Sen. Erin Houchin entered the race.

Houchin, a Republican from Salem, has represented Senate District 47 since 2014. District 47 is currently centered around Harrison County, but it will absorb more of Floyd County starting with the next election cycle because of redistricting.

In her campaign announcement, Houchin said she would “stand up to the radical left” agenda if elected.

“As a proven conservative fighter, I have always stood up for our Hoosier values and individual liberties, protected our Second Amendment rights, defended the unborn, and protected the integrity of our elections,” Houchin said in the statement. “I’ve fought to keep our families and communities safe, standing firm with the brave men and women in law enforcement and holding criminals accountable for their actions.”

Houchin ran an unsuccessful primary campaign against Hollingsworth to represent the 9th District in Congress in 2016. Hollingsworth is leaving the position after three terms.

Houchin’s announcement has implications for the race for District 47, which was already complicated by Indiana’s redistricting. Lawmakers merged part of the former District 46, which includes Clark and Floyd counties, into District 47. The state eliminated the current District 46 and moved it north to Marion County after former state Sen. Ron Grooms announced his retirement.

State Sen. Kevin Boehnlein, who was selected to replace Grooms in a caucus last year, is challenging Houchin in the Republican primary for District 47.

John is the Health/Southern Indiana Reporter for WFPL. He is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.