November 13, 2020

The first Ukrainian-born member of Congress


With much of the mainstream media focused on the 2020 presidential election results, a lesser-known candidate for U.S. Congress made history.

In a Facebook post, Andriy Futey, president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, stated: “For the first time in history, there will be a Ukrainian-born in the U.S. Congress. Congratulations to Ms. Victoria Spartz on her election to the U.S. House of Representatives from the 5th District of Indiana. She hails from the town of Nosivka, Chernihiv Oblast, and has lived in Indiana since 2000. We wish her much success and look forward to building a strong working relationship with the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America and the entire Ukrainian American community.”

Rep.-elect Spartz (who served previously as a state senator) won by a margin of 4 percent against 2018 lieutenant governor nominee Christina Hale. Rep. Spartz won every county in the district with the exception of Marion County. Rep. Spartz will also be the first naturalized citizen to represent Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives.

During the campaign, Ms. Hale launched what Rep. Spartz’s two daughters called “crazy” accusations against Rep. Spartz, questioning the Ukrainian lending her own campaign $1.27 million. Her children recalled that their mother came to the U.S. at the age of 21 with all of her worldly possessions “in a suitcase.”

The Indy Star reported on November 3 that, during the campaign, Rep. Spartz was at a disadvantage when it came to fund-raising. Ms. Hale consistently outraised Rep. Spartz during the primary and general election. As of October 14, Ms. Hale had raised almost $3.5 million without any personal loans, while Rep. Spartz had raised more than $1.4 million.

Rep. Spartz loaned herself an additional $1.27 million, for a total of just under $2.7 million. More than $12 million was raised from outside sources for the entire campaign by all parties, the Indy Star noted.

Ms. Spartz ran on the campaign slogan “Less government. More freedom.” Her campaign website, ( pointed out:

“In many ways, she embodies the American Dream: born overseas, immigrating to the United States 20 years ago after meeting her husband, a born and raised Hoosier, on a train in Europe, becoming a U.S. citizen, and working her way up from bank teller to a CPA, finance executive and successful business owner.

“Growing up in socialist-controlled Ukraine, she experienced firsthand the dark side of socialism. Living through this molded her conservative political philosophy: limited government is always better, and financial and health-care decisions should be made by individuals in the free market, not bureaucrats and special interests.”

In the U.S., she served as CFO in the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, was an adjunct faculty member at the Kelley School of Business and worked as an auditor among the “Big Four” Fortune 500 firms. She is also a real estate owner, financial consultant and an owner of farming businesses. She also completed the Harvard Business School Executive Education program on health care.

Following her victory, Ms. Spartz stated: “I am so honored and humbled by the trust the people of Indiana’s 5th District have placed in me. This has been a long, tough campaign and I look forward to uniting Hoosiers around real solutions and serving every resident of Indiana’s 5th District by ensuring we have the right policies for a strong economy, good schools, affordable health care and a great quality of life.”

During her term in the state Senate, she served on the following committees: Education and Career Development, Pensions and Labor, Environmental Affairs, Insurance and Financial Institutions; she also was a chair of the Audit and Financial Reporting Subcommittee of the Legislative Council.

The tasks Ms. Spartz plans to focus on include: reducing government spending and debt; reforming the immigration system and increasing border security; a stronger national defense and military; health-care reform to increase transparency, competition and consumer choice; education reform aimed at increasing earning potential and workforce development programs, as well as improve accountability of colleges and meet the demands of the future workforce; government transparency and accountability to reduce confusion and inefficiency, reducing bureaucracy and holding government leaders accountable; business regulations to reduce regulatory powers of the executive branch to promote a thriving environment for all businesses, regardless of size; and instituting term limits to a maximum of three terms or less.

The Ukrainian Weekly shares the sentiment of the UCCA statement, which underscored: “Hoping more promising, civic-minded Ukrainian Americans will run for office!”

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