Republican voters living within Indiana House District 65 will have six candidates to chose from during the May 3 primary, including a Lawrence County man who recently announced his candidacy.
The crowded field that now includes Mark Mathis of Bedford also features Darren Byrd of Morgantown, Christopher D. May of Bedford and Jim Pfaff, Jacob Franklin and Franklin Andrew, all of Bloomington. Chris Woods of Bedford will be on the Democrat ballot for the seat in the primary.
The six Republican candidates are trying to win their party’s nomination to replace Bedford Republican Eric Koch, who has held the seat since 2002. The district includes Pershing and Salt Creek townships in Jackson County along with all of Brown County and parts of Lawrence, Monroe and Johnson counties.
Koch, who is an attorney, is running for the GOP nomination for the state Senate District 44 seat presently held by Brent Steele, who is retiring at the end of the year. Republican Josh Anderson of Bedford also is running for that seat along with Democrat Linda Kay Henderson of Bedford.
Besides the House District 65 race, the other House District races involving Jackson County include District 69, where the incumbent, Seymour Republican Jim Lucas, faces a challenge from newcomer Nancy Franke, an educator who also lives in Seymour; and incumbent District 73 Republican Steven Davisson of Salem, who is facing a challenge from Michael A. Harkness of Paoli.
Douglas Leatherbury, who has a law practice in Salem, is running unopposed in the primary for the Democrat Party’s nomination for the House District 73 seat.
District 69 includes parts of Brownstown Township and all of Hamilton, Jackson, Redding, Vernon and Washington townships in Jackson County. House District 73 includes part of Brownstown Township and all of Carr, Grassy Fork and Owen townships in Jackson County.
Mathis, a Lawrence County councilman, said if elected to the District 65 seat, he would do everything in his power to secure the freedom, security and prosperity of all Hoosiers.
“I am a Christian by choice and an American by birth,” said Mathis, who has been the pastor of Grace Fellowship in Harrodsburg for the past eight years.
Mathis said he is pro-America, pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-family, pro-gun, pro-military, pro-English and pro-states rights.
“I have talked to some politicians who claim that they will not let their Christian convictions affect their policy decisions,” he said. “I believe that if your Christian convictions do not affect your decisions, then you do not have Christian convictions.”
Mathis also is a contractor for contingent services, operates Indiana Rifle Supply from his home and is a discharged veteran of the National Guard.
State Senate District 44
Josh Anderson, Bedford
Eric Koch, Bedford
Linda Kay Henderson, Bedford
State House District 65
Franklin Andrew, Bloomington
Darren Morgan Byrd, Morgantown
Jacob Franklin, Bloomington
Mark Jeffrey Mathis, Bedford
Christopher David May, Bedford
Jim Pfaff, Bloomington
Chris Woods, Bedford
State House District 69
James Lucas, Seymour (I)
Nancy Franke, Seymour
State House District 73
Steven Davisson, Salem (I)
Michael A. Harkness, Paoli
Douglas Leatherbury, Salem