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LIVE UPDATES: Victoria Spartz wins the crowded Republican primary in Indiana's 5th congressional district

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  • On Tuesday, Indiana is holding Republican and Democratic primaries in all nine of its House districts. 
  • There are competitive primaries in the state’s first district to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Peter Visclosky, and in the fifth congressional to replace retiring GOP Rep. Susan Brooks. 
  • State Senator Victoria Spartz won the crowded Republican primary in the fifth congressional district. 
  • Polls in Indiana closed at 6 p.m. ET in most of the state, and at 6 p.m. CT and 7 p.m. Eastern Time in the counties located in the Central Time Zone. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The stakes:

There are two main races to watch in Indiana today are the primaries in the state’s two open House of Representatives seats. 

This year, Rep. Pete Visclosky is retiring from the first district located in the northwest corner of the state, a safely Democratic seat that Hillary Clinton carried by over 12 percentage points in 2016.

The main candidates vying for the nomination in the crowded 14-candidate Democratic primary are Frank Mrvan, a North Township Trustee who has secured Visclosky’s endorsement, Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., and state Representative Mara Candelaria Reardon.

State Senator Victoria Spartz won the Republican primary in Indiana’s fifth district, a traditionally red seat in the Indianapolis suburbs and exurbs, to replace retiring GOP Rep. Susan Brooks.

Spartz beat out a crowded field of 15 candidates including State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell, nurse Beth Henderson, and former prosecutor Carl Rizzo. Tension ran high at points in the primary, with fellow GOP candidate Henderson airing attack ads that some have criticized as xenophobic in targeting Spartz’s Ukrainian heritage. 

The district has been in Republican hands since 1993 and backed President Donald Trump by 12 percentage points in 2016. But Democrats are eyeing the now-open seat as a target to flip this year after former Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly carried the district despite losing the state in 2018, Indiana political writer Adam Wren recently reported in his newsletter “Importantville.”

On the Democratic side, State Representative Christina Hale is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination competing against former Xerox executive Dee Thorton and scientist Jennifer Christie. 

Polls closed at 6 p.m. ET in most of the state, and at 6 p.m. CT and 7 p.m. Eastern Time in the first and eighth congressional districts, where are located in the Central Time Zone. 

More than 300,000 Hoosiers, an all-time record, are voting by mail this year after the state’s Election Commission waived the state’s previous rule requiring voters under 65 to have a documented excuse to request an absentee ballot, the Indianapolis Star reported.

The massive increase in voters casting ballots by mail will likely delay the timings of election results, meaning we may not know the winners of the crowded primaries in the first and fifth districts until Wednesday or later. 

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