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Andy Ruff Announces Run For Congress

Andy Ruff, Democratic candidate for the Indiana District 9 seat.

Bloomington City Councilmember-at-large Andy Ruff. (Tyler Lake, WFIU/WTIU News)

Andy Ruff announced Monday that he will run for the Democratic nomination to represent Indiana’s 9th Congressional District.

Ruff is finishing his fifth term on the Bloomington City Council.

He says in a news release announcing his nomination that he’s committed to serving Southern Indiana and fighting for average Hoosiers.

“My goal is to be elected to represent the district, develop a plan for betterment of the district, and to support policies and bring resources to the help steer Southern Indiana toward a better future,” he says.

He says he’ll bring the same attitude he has toward municipal policy to the District 9 seat.

Ruff says those policies – like his living wage initiative – protect civil rights, empower workers and promote a fair economy.

"I've got a long history of supporting policies and developing policies along those lines, and I anticipate that a lot of those same needs exist through the whole district," he says.

Ruff says his years on City Council and his time spent working for former 9th District Congressman Baron Hill gives him the experience and connection to the community needed for the job.

But, he says, he is looking to shake things up, and wants to get away from "business as usual."

If he wins the nomination, Ruff would likely face incumbent Trey Hollingsworth in November. Ruff has spent his whole life in Indiana, and he says that alone makes him a better fit for the 9th district than Hollingsworth, who received criticism for moving into the district shortly before he launched his first congressional campaign. 

Ruff lost his bid for re-election to the city council to political newcomer Matt Flaherty in Bloomington’s Democratic primary election. He currently works as an academic advisor to undergraduates at Indiana University and has previously worked as a high school teacher, county government employee, community organizer and a staff member for former Congressman Baron Hill. He’s also the leader of The Dew Daddies, a country music band.

Ruff is a Bloomington native who has an undergraduate degree from Cornell University, teaching certification from the IU School of Education and a master’s degree from IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Candidates may officially file declarations starting Jan. 8. The deadline to file for candidacy in a 2020 race is Feb. 20.

Emma Atkinson contributed to this story.

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