Welcome to my diary series titled “Majority Savers”! I will run a new article every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. The goal of this series is to highlight races that may make or break our current slender majorities in Congress. That means I will start more with incumbent Senators and House members until some primary elections are settled. If I have time, I will expand it to governors as well in critical swing states.
If you want to find my previous entries in this series, I recommend following me or searching for “Majority Savers” as a tag!
I have six ground rules behind the philosophy of this series. I’d ask you all to respect them as best you can, because these are taking me quite a long time to write. Find my ground rules HERE.
Today, I am focusing on a candidate that will likely need some help, as he is a freshman in the House. Please go below the fold to read all about Frank Mrvan, Jr. of Indiana’s 1st district!
I do not intend to write his entire biography, which you can read here. But I will make some points that I feel helped shape him to be a Congressman for Indiana’s 1st district. Since he is new, biographical details are rather lacking.
- His father, Frank Mrvan, Sr., is a longtime State Senator in the area of the 1st district. Undoubtedly, this helped steer him into politics and gave him the critical connections needed to win his first primary election in 2020.
- He graduated from Ball State University with a journalism degree. This could mean that he is an effective writer.
- He worked in the fields of mortgage broker and pharmaceutical sales representative before joining Congress. This likely shaped him to be a salesman and a problem solver within the Democratic ranks.
Rep. Mrvan has a DW-Nominate score of -0.277, which is close to the moderate end of the political spectrum. In fact, he is in the rightward most quarter of the House Democratic Caucus, being more conservative than 81% of his House Democratic colleagues.
That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t deserve our support though! If we lose even 5 seats net, we have lost the House of Representatives. Remember the slogan “more and better Democrats”, which underpins the election aims of this site. He represents a battleground seat now, and one where we need a “more” rather than a “better” Democratic House member.
Labor: The one major bill that Rep. Mrvan has co-sponsored in his short Congressional tenure is the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, or PRO Act. He is a consistent critic of “right to work” laws and he supports making it easier to organize a union without intimidation from corporations.
Manufacturing: Gary still has some manufacturing and steel clout in the world, and Rep. Mrvan is constantly pushing to return manufacturing jobs to America and especially to the 1st district of Indiana. For instance, he is the co-chair of the Congressional Steel Caucus.
Recent Elections —
2020 President: Joe Biden (D) 53.4%, TFG (R-inc) 45.0%
2020 House: Frank Mrvan, Jr. (D) 56.6%, Mark Leyva (R) 40.5%
2022 Race Rating: Leans Democratic
2022 PVI: D+4
This district is different from the rest of Indiana in that it is more associated with Chicago than the rest of the state. It also shows in the fact that Republicans have not held this seat in over 90 years, with the district staying in the same region of Indiana the entire time. That means that this district is a classic yellow dog Democratic district found in the Rust Belt region where the labor movement has had strong ties to the Democratic Party.
What is different now is that this area has been trending away from the Democratic Party in recent elections. Gore and Kerry got around 55% of the vote in this district in the 2000s, Obama received over 60% of the vote in both of his election campaigns, and even Clinton outperformed Biden by scoring roughly 54%. A district trending away from us in a midterm environment is going to be a fight, and this diary is meant to inform others that this will be a battleground!
Political Tour of the District
This district covers the northwestern corner of the state of Indiana, and more precisely the suburbs of the Chicago megalopolis that spill over into the state. Gary is the anchor of Lake County, which is where most of the people in the district reside. This region was once home to many steel mills and other manufacturing centers, but those were mostly decimated by outsourcing long ago.
Here’s where this race will be won in the 1st district.
- Gary and the inner core: These cities are predominantly African American, which means that Mrvan will need a significant turnout from these cities to ensure that he is re-elected. There is likely still a residual union vote that he will need to rely upon to win as well.
- The outer suburbs and exurbs of Lake County: Mrvan needs to staunch the bleeding in these areas, as they trended towards TFG in his elections. This is likely the swing area for 2022, and a bad showing here will doom him. Hopefully, the legacy of union membership will come through for him.
Here’s where we need to keep the margins down, or we lose.
- Porter County and that sliver of La Porte County: these two counties are traditionally swing counties in presidential elections, but these counties backed TFG twice in the last two elections. If there is a red wave election, it is important to keep the margins here as close as possible to make sure that Lake County can outweigh these two smaller counties.
Activism — Help How You Can!
In Quarter 1, Mrvan raised around $178k, which isn’t good enough in a day and age where even House members can raise seven figure sums every quarter. He was also outraised by his opponent this quarter, which is NEVER a good sign. He is a freshman in Congress, so it is likely he hasn’t built up strong financial ties or a small donor base yet.
He does have a cash on hand advantage over his most prominent challenger, with $428k in the bank. Unfortunately, this district is in the pricy Chicago media market, so this total won’t get him very far. Most of the incumbents I will write about honestly do NOT need the extra money, but Rep. Mrvan is an exception. I am chipping in $26, and I hope you can find it within your budget to also chip in to his re-election campaign.
DONATE TO REP. MRVAN HERE
If social media is more your thing, you can follow him on Twitter. He has about 4k followers, which means he purposely stays out of the spotlight. For him to win his race, that may need to change.
You can also follow him on Facebook at at mrvanforcongress
Finally, here is a link to his campaign site, mrvanforcongress.com, which is probably the best way to volunteer for his campaign at this time!
Thank you for taking the time to read about Rep. Frank Mrvan, Jr.! Hopefully this diary inspires you to help him in some way! It is said that freshmen in Congress are the most vulnerable to being beaten, and his race is one that could easily be overlooked!