It was 1928, when the Depression was still on the horizon and Prohibition was in full swing, when the last Republican was elected to represent Indiana’s 1st Congressional District.
Republican candidate Jennifer-Ruth Green is working to change that.
Aside from breaking a Democratic lock on the district that goes back to the 1930 election, Green would carve a niche for herself as the only black Republican woman in the House and only the second black female Republican ever elected to the House, according to The Associated Press.
Green is taking on Democratic Rep. Frank Mrvan. As an indication that this is not the usual campaign, the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia shifted the race to a toss-up in July.
“This working-class, post-industrial northwest Indiana district has seen its Democratic lean erode in the Donald Trump era, even though [President Joe] Biden still carried it by 8 points. But Democrats have been losing ground in these kinds of districts in recent years,” the site explained.
“Usually, people yawn over that because they know this has been a Democratic stronghold for years and years,” former Indiana state Rep. Charlie Brown, a Democrat from Gary, said. “But they’ve got to be aware that this is somewhat different this time.”
Green said former Democrats are coming over to her side.
“I have over ten volunteers on my campaign who said they have voted Democrat their whole life but are going to vote for me. I talk to people like that all over northwest Indiana every single day who say they are sick of the Biden/Pelosi agenda,” she tweeted on Wednesday.
I have over ten volunteers on my campaign who said they have voted Democrat their whole life but are going to vote for me.
— Jennifer-Ruth Green (@JenRuthGreen) October 26, 2022
Green’s resume includes more than 20 years in the Air Force, including service in Iraq, and current participation in the Indiana Air National Guard.
She also has a pitch that offers a change.
“We’ll have the opportunity to tell people, ‘Hey, this is where we are. Is it producing good opportunity for you?’” she said. “‘Or do you want something different?’”
Green said race is not the end-all, be-all of her candidacy.
“If I was who I was without any thoughtful leadership or character attached to it, I would not be effective in this role,” she said.
Republican Rep. Burgess Owens of Utah, who is also black, said Green is not simply a black candidate.
“What Jennifer represents are American values. … I think that actually really overcomes all the other stuff,” he said.
The National Republican Campaign Committee said its field of House candidates includes 28 blacks, 33 Hispanics, 13 Asian-Americans and three Native Americans.
Green said she decided to run when she saw House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tear up Trump’s 2020 State of the Union speech.
“When I was watching that, it very clearly sent a signal to our international adversaries that we were comfortable projecting instability,” Green said, according to WLS-TV.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.