Hollingsworth says he won’t seek re-election

WASHINGTON — Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-Indiana, announced last week that he will not seek a fourth term in Congress.

Hollingsworth, 38, a Tennessee native, has represented Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District since taking office in 2017. The district currently includes a slice of southern Bartholomew County, as well as all of Jackson, Jennings, Brown and Decatur counties, after Indiana Republicans redrew and approved new district lines last year.

As of Jan. 11, no one had filed to run for the Ninth District in the GOP or Democratic primaries, according to the Indiana Election Division.

“You deserve a member of Congress totally and completely focused on the 9th District, and, though I have remained committed to that promise these three terms, now I will fight for you and us in different ways,” Hollingsworth said on Facebook Jan. 12.

The announcement comes as candidate filings are in full swing for the May 3 primary election. So far, 10 people have filed to run for Indiana’s U.S. House seats, including incumbents Rep. André Carson, D-Indiana; Rep. Frank Mrvan, D-Indiana; Rep. Jim Baird, R-Indiana; and Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Indiana.

Rep. Greg Pence, R-Indiana, who represents Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District — which includes most of Bartholomew County — also is up for re-election this year but had not filed to run in the GOP primary as of Tuesday.

Pence’s office has not responded to requests for comment on whether the second-term congressman plans to seek a third term.

During the redistricting process, the Ninth District picked up all or parts of nine largely rural counties in southeastern Indiana from the Sixth District, which is currently represented by Pence, The Associated Press reported.

The Sixth District gained heavily Republican Johnson County just south of Indianapolis from Hollingsworth’s Ninth District and the GOP-leaning southside of Indianapolis from Carson’s Seventh District, according to wire reports.

In the statement released Wednesday, Hollingworth, who has supported term limits, said he would limit his service to four terms, and then announced he would not seek a fourth term.

Hollingsworth moved to the southern Indiana city of Jeffersonville in 2015 and soon entered the race for an open congressional seat from the district spanning from the southern suburbs of Indianapolis to the Ohio River just north of Louisville, Kentucky. He was political unknown before he started spending more than $2.8 million of his own money and a political group funded by his father pumped in about $1 million more into a television advertising-heavy campaign, helping him win a crowded 2016 Republican primary.

Political opponents dubbed him “Tennessee Trey,” trying to highlight his time growing up near Knoxville, Tennessee, and family wealth as his father, Joseph Hollingsworth Jr., founded Hollingsworth Companies, where he made a fortune developing commercial and industrial properties across the South.

His 2016 congressional financial disclosure showed a net worth of at least $50 million and earnings of at least $1.4 million a year.

Democrats criticized Hollingsworth as planning to use that wealth for a statewide campaign.

“It’s no secret that Tennessee Trey will try to buy his way into the governor’s office in 2024 and attempt to lead an Indiana Republican Party that continues to push their extreme culture wars ahead of a better future for Hoosier families,” Indiana Democratic Party spokesman Drew Anderson said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.