KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — Voters in residing in U.S. Congressional District 3 will have choices to make for U.S. Rep. District 3 nominations on May 8.
Rep. Jim Banks, Columbia City, is the only candidate on the Republican ballot. The race will be on the Democrat ballot, where the choice will be: John R. Roberson, Tommy A. Schrader or Courtney Tritch, all of Fort Wayne.
U.S. Congressional District 3 is comprised of 41 precincts in Kosciusko County: Jackson, Monroe, Plain (except Plain 6), Tippecanoe, Washington, Wayne and the city of Warsaw.
Banks, the incumbent, is a native Hoosier, serving his state and country in a variety of roles throughout his career. Banks was born and raised in Columbia City. He has an undergraduate degree from Indiana University and a Master of Business Administration from Grace College. Banks worked in both the commercial construction and real estate industry in Fort Wayne and served in the Indiana State Senate from 2010-2016. In the Senate, Banks chaired the Senate Veteran Affairs and the military committee and led the charge on many significant pro-growth, pro-family and pro-veteran reforms.
Banks serves in the U.S. Navy Reserve as a supply corps officer and took a leave of absence from the Indiana State Senate in 2014 and 2015 to deploy to Afghanistan during Operations Enduring Freedom and Freedom’s Sentinel. He received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for his military leadership in Afghanistan.
On Jan. 3, 2017, Banks began representing Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Banks currently serves on the House Armed Services, Veterans Affairs, and Science, Space, and technology committees. Banks lives in Columbia City with his wife, Amanda, and their three daughters, Lillian, Elizabeth and Joann.
Roberson is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He is a retired truck driver, and was a member of the Fort Wayne Police Department for 18 years.
Schrader describes himself as an “average Joe.” A Fort Wayne native, he went to Snider High School and later received his GED and studied politics at the Anthis Career Center. He has worked in a library, as a poll worker and a volunteer at the AIDS Task Force.
Tritch was born and raised in Fort Wayne. Tritch returned to her hometown 10 years ago to focus on economic development, working alongside elected officials and business leaders from both sides of the political aisle.
As vice president of marketing at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, Tritch helped to lead the Regional Cities Initiative Team, securing $42 million in state funding to invest in northeast Indiana.
She has started two businesses: Sweets by Courtney, featured as an emerging business by the Chicago Sun-Times, and Courtney Tritch Consulting. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Indiana University, Tritch holds a marketing strategy certificate from Cornell University and graduated from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management Program.
Response To Questions
Each of the candidates were asked to respond to questions. Tritch was the only candidate to respond. The following is her response.
What do you believe to be the three greatest issues in this year’s election and why?
Tritch: 1. Rising cost of health care. I believe the unwillingness of members of Congress to work across the aisle has left Hoosiers paying rising health care bills. Repealing the Affordable Care Act would leave millions uninsured and exacerbate the opioid crisis by getting rid of HIP 2.0 in Indiana. I’m a leader who will seek out pragmatic solutions to our problems. This is why the Tritch for Congress campaign is proposing the following three-point plan to provide much-needed relief for the hardworking families in this country waiting on Congress to solve our nation’s health care crisis:
- Allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
- Stabilize health insurance premiums by reauthorizing cost-sharing reductions.
- Create a Medicare public option for exchanges. These initial steps will help stabilize the marketplace, bring costs down and create competition on the exchanges, while working toward the ultimate goal of providing accessible and affordable health care for every American.
2. Support public education. I believe all Hoosier students deserve a high-quality education that prepares them to contribute to our changing workforce. The current system of diverting funding from public schools and funneling it into for-profit schools; however, sacrifices accountability of public funds and dilutes resources to the point of being fiscally inefficient and worse, ineffective.
I believe education is truly the great equalizer. But with the half-hearted funding of several different educational systems, not only will children suffer, so will future industries. If the next generation of employees is not adequately equipped to handle the jobs of the future, the economy will lag behind accordingly. Investment in our public-school system, in teachers, classrooms and students will ensure a meaningful education is available to children of all income levels throughout Indiana’s 3rd District.
3. Clean energy. I believe we must invest in clean energy jobs now. This will benefit manufacturers and farmers alike, especially as the solar and wind industries continue to create jobs at a rate of 12 times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy.
I believe the U.S. needs to be a global leader in these new technologies. When companies announce they are manufacturing the latest electric vehicle or building new, high-tech solar panels, I want to ensure they are made right here in northeast Indiana by creating the best, pro-business environment possible. As climate change continues to impact on our agricultural communities, I want to look at additional means to support our farmers, securing both their financial future and America’s food sources.
While the current administration is slashing funding for clean energy technology, China continues to outpace the United States in investment. Providing for future energy needs is an issue of both national security and global economic competitiveness.