Teacher plans state representative run


A Seymour resident who currently serves on the local school board is running again for a state legislative seat in 2018.

Nancy Franke is seeking to unseat current District 69 State Rep. Jim Lucas, also of Seymour.

This will be her second attempt to win the Republican nomination for the seat. She lost to Lucas in the primary election in May 2016. Lucas was unopposed in the November general election.

Franke made her official announcement Monday, saying she still has a strong desire to serve the community and district, which includes Bartholomew, Jackson, Jefferson and Jennings counties.

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“I am running for state representative of District 69 because I believe our district deserves better,” she said. “As complex issues consistently change, District 69 must have a representative who speaks with the voice of the people and actually gets the job done.”

Franke said it’s time for Hoosiers’ interests and values to be heard and protected while maintaining fiscal responsibility and economic opportunity.

“Many constituents are concerned their voice is being ignored because they do not have an effective advocate at the table where the decisions are being made at the Statehouse,” she said.

Lucas, who is serving his third two-year term, has created a lot of controversy and received a lot of publicity for his pro-gun rights stances and legislation.

The small business owner said he has every intention of running again but hasn’t ruled out a bid for a higher office, possibly a U.S. Senate seat in Washington, D.C., currently held by Democrat Joe Donnelly.

“I will continue to represent our district with everything I have, and if there is an opportunity to better represent the people, I believe it should at least be considered,” he said.

Franke, a Lutheran schoolteacher in Columbus, said the district and state continue to struggle with challenges, which she feels are being ignored by current leaders.

“The growing drug and substance epidemic continues to invade the very thread of every community,” she said. “Many of our public schools are feeling the shaft from underfunding and legislative hoops.

“We need someone representing and fighting for the hardworking people here,” she said. “That means continued work on providing the best education for our children, keeping our promises and ensuring safe and viable communities in which to work and live.”

She currently is in her seventh year serving on the Seymour Community School Corp. board of trustees and helped develop the Jackson County Drug Awareness Action Team. She also is a legislative liaison with the Indiana School Boards Association and is a member of the Richard G. Lugar Leadership Class.

“One promise I know I resolve to preserve is that I will be the voice of our constituents in our district and not big government,” she said.

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