Indiana Republican accuses Dem challenger of abandoning constituents, joining 'DC political machine'

FIRST ON FOX: A Republican looking to flip a House seat from blue to red in Indiana says his Democratic challenger has abandoned the “hardworking” constituents of his district and aligned himself with “the far left” and the “D.C. political machine” after joining Congress more than three years ago.

Randy Niemeyer, the Republican nominee to represent Indiana’s 1st Congressional District in the House, will face off against incumbent Democratic Rep. Frank Mrvan in the state’s general election later this year.

“Currently, Frank Mrvan’s voting record is more with the far left than it is with these hardworking, middle-class, conservative-natured people in his district. He doesn’t do a lot that’s representative of that,” Niemeyer told Fox News Digital in an interview.

Mrvan’s voting record, according to Niemeyer, proves the votes he takes in Washington do not align with the aspirations of those in the Hoosier State’s 1st District.


Frank has really aligned himself with the D.C. political machine and become very well ingrained in that and has forgotten that his district is not being represented right now by his votes the way it should be and can be,” he said.

Niemeyer also said he rarely sees Mrvan interacting with or listening to his constituents in the district, unless it’s for a public appearance or speaking event.

“If there’s a parade or an opportunity to speak somewhere, he always takes advantage of that. If there’s a ribbon cutting for some project that was funded by the infrastructure bill or the Inflation Reduction Act… he shows up to those things, too,” he said of Mrvan. “But I don’t see a lot of him or hear a lot of him just interacting within the community and being places where people are to listen and to learn and to make sure that he’s connected to the grassroots and really to the boots on the ground that pay the taxes and pay the freight for this country.”

Mrvan won election to Congress in 2020, defeating his GOP challenger, Mark Leyva, by nearly 53,000 votes. He was re-elected to his post in the 2022 cycle, defeating Jennifer-Ruth Green by a little more than 12,000 votes.

Niemeyer previously served for 12 years, 10 as president, on the Cedar Lake Town Council. That experience, along with the lessons he learned from it, is something he often reflects on as he seeks to earn trust and support from voters ahead of the general election.

“I think one of the biggest things that we can do in government service comes back to my 16 years in local government, where we’re really connected to the people, and we make sure that the folks that we represent, the work that we do, is truly on their behalf,” he said.

Niemeyer, who defeated his Republican challengers in the state’s May 7 primary election, has spent his entire life in Northwest Indiana and has been hauling milk for his family’s trucking business for nearly 30 years.


Pointing to his upbringing, his work ethic, and his combined 16 years of local government experience, Niemeyer said he shares “a lot of the same struggles” that those in his district have.

“I’ve driven three million miles behind the wheel of a tractor trailer. I run a small business. I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck. The business I run operates on slim to no margins at times. I have college debt that I’m going to be paying for my daughter,” he said. “We’ve got those similar life experiences.”

“I still drive a truck,” he added. “I like to give perspective to people that I’m out there working with them. I’m sweating with them. We’re doing the blue-collar work. We’re helping to feed this country and that perspective, I think, separates me from Frank, who has just gone along with the farthest left of his party most of the time.”

Though he has family members that have public service experience, Niemeyer said his greatest influence in posing a challenge to Mrvan comes from an individual “who never had her name on a campaign sign anywhere.”

“My grandmother was a 35-year cafeteria worker at a local school, and she passed away a year after her retirement from cancer,” recalled Niemeyer, who was 16 years old at the time of her death. “We had over 1,100 people come through the line at multiple wakes that we had for her who told similar stories of how she would take money out of her own purse and put it in the cash register so a kid would have a hot meal that might not have a hot meal at home.”

“Those people told me these stories, and it really inspired, for me, a real knowledge of what true public service meant,” he added.

Niemeyer will face off against Mrvan, as well as three independent candidates, in the Nov. 5 general election.

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