An Indiana native and seasoned congressional staffer announced Tuesday that he is joining a crowded field of Republicans running for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District.
Max Engling, an IUPUI alum and former aide to ex-U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, becomes one at least seven Republicans running to replace Rep. Victoria Spartz, who is not seeking a third term.
Engling earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and psychology from IUPUI in 2010 and briefly worked for an Indianapolis HVAC business before he started as an intern on Capitol Hill, eventually becoming director of member services for the speaker of the house. He left that job in August.
In a three-minute video announcement, Engling, 36, said he left Capitol Hill after becoming disillusioned with the “extreme, open border policies” of “liberal democrats” and the Biden administration.
“I heard from Indiana families that were struggling to make ends meet, ignored by their public officials and a big government agenda that’s out of step with the Heartland,” said Engling, who promised to “restore conservative values, respect the Constitution, protect the unborn, stop overspending and secure the border” if elected.
Engling received his master’s degree from the U.S. Naval War College, where he studied defense and strategic studies.
In 2012, he was named to The Hill’s “50 Most Beautiful list.”
He and his wife, Kelcey, live in Fishers with their four children.
Other contenders for the 5th Congressional District include Rep. Chuck Goodrich, R-Noblesville, who has raised more than $500,000 since he used $1 million of his own money to kickstart his campaign; Raju Chinthala, treasurer of the Howard County Republican County; Noblesville attorney Mark Hurt; Siddharth Mahant, co-owner of Avon-based trucking firm Mahant Transportation; and Matthew Peiffer, president of Muncie not-for-profit A Voice for Kids.
No Democrats have entered the race.
The district includes more than 750,000 residents in the eastern and northern suburbs of Indianapolis, including Carmel, Noblesville and Fishers, and stretches to the cities of Anderson, Marion, Muncie and Kokomo.