Bloomington council member plans run against Hollingsworth

A longtime Bloomington City Council member is looking to challenge Republican Rep. Trey Hollingsworth for a southern Indiana congressional seat next year.

Democrat Andy Ruff announced his campaign Monday for the party’s 9th District nomination in May’s primary.

The 9th District stretches from the Ohio River near Louisville to the southern Indianapolis suburbs.

Ruff is ending 20 years as an at-large member of the Bloomington council after he lost in last spring’s Democratic primary while seeking a sixth term. Ruff is an academic adviser at Indiana University and previously was a staffer with former Democratic U.S. Rep. Baron Hill.

Hollingsworth, the son of a Tennessee business mogul, had moved to the district in 2015, shortly before launching his first congressional campaign. Hollingsworth faced accusation of buying a seat in Congress as he cleared a crowded 2016 GOP primary field with $3 million he loaned his campaign and attack ads run by a super PAC financed with about $1 million from his father.

Hollingsworth won re-election in 2018 with 56 percent of the vote even though Democratic nominee Liz Watson spent $2.5 million on her campaign.

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