By Steve Garbacz
FORT WAYNE — A Fort Wayne marketer and activist announced she will be running for Congress as a Democrat in 2018 to challenge northeast Indiana’s freshman representative.
Courtney Tritch announced in a short video via Facebook that she will run for Indiana’s 3rd District Congressional seat next year. A Democrat, she previously served as vice president for marketing for the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership for 6-1/2 years before starting her own consulting firm last fall.
Tritch intends to challenge Rep. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City, who was elected to his first term in the House last year. Banks won a six-person Republican primary, then easily cruised to victory in November.
She will be holding an official campaign kickoff event at Foster Park in Fort Wayne on July 6, where she will share more information about herself and her political beliefs, according to her announcement video.
Tritch will then visit Noble County to discuss her candidacy with KPC Media Group the following day.
Noble County Democratic Party Chairman Bob Holbrook said he’s encouraged to get a candidate like Tritch to run in the tough 3rd District.
“I’m really very excited. I think she’ll work really hard and we know it’s a tough district, but maybe people are getting fed up with some of the stuff going on,” Holbrook said.
Democrats are looking to bounce back after a bad 2016.
Last year, the party’s preferred candidate lost to perennial office-seeker Tommy Schrader of Fort Wayne. The party refused to back Schrader, who went on to get trounced by Banks by 47 percentage points.
Democrats haven’t been competitive in the district since the late 2000s. Democrats captured 45 percent of the vote in races against former Republican Rep. Mark Souder in both 2006 and 2008. Since then, the GOP has easily held the seat with more than 60 percent of the vote.
Schrader has announced he will run for the seat again, as well as David Roach, who has also frequently unsuccessfully run for national, state and Allen County offices.