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State senator running to succeed Greg Pence, prevent ‘further damage’ to Indiana

State senator runs to succeed Greg Pence

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A state senator says he’s running for Congress because he wants to stop that body from disrupting Indiana’s progress.

Jeff Raatz, a Republican, has represented Richmond in the state Senate for the past 10 years. He said he’s proud of his work during that time and he wants to prevent federal overreach from interfering with the state’s work.

U.S. Rep. Greg Pence in January announced he would not seek another term in Congress. Pence’s district covers east-central Indiana, stretching from southern Marion County to the Ohio state line. Raatz is one of seven Republicans running to succeed him.

Raatz says he would vote to restore Trump-style border policies, including closing the border. He says he considers the border the No. 1 national security and public safety issue. As for people who are already in the country illegally, he says he would support deporting those tied to known terrorist organizations.

Raatz voted for Indiana’s near-total abortion ban during the 2022 special legislative session. He said he would support a nationwide abortion ban, though he declined to name the specifics he would look for in such a bill.

“I think when you look at those numbers (of abortions) I’m talking about, I don’t know how anybody could put their head on a pillow at night knowing that they could have participated in a situation where you eliminated the possibility of life,” he said.

Raatz has chaired the Senate Education and Career Development Committee for the past five years. At the federal level, he says he would support reducing or eliminating the U.S. Department of Education and allowing the states more freedom to explore different education solutions.

The primary is on May 7. Early voting will begin Tuesday.

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