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Luke Messer viewpoint: Top priority is keeping my family together

The Herald Bulletin last week published an editorial that perpetuated an attack frequently lobbed by my opponent, and I appreciate the chance to address it head on.

I have always been transparent with Hoosiers about the fact that I moved my wife and kids with me to Virginia after I was elected to Congress. It was the right decision for me and my family, and I’m proud to tell you why.

I was raised by my single mom who worked hard at the Delta Faucet factory in Greensburg to make ends meet. My dad wasn’t around for us so my mom, my brother and I made the best of it. I love my father, but I always knew I would do things differently.

Experiences shape who we are, and it’s important to me to be a husband and a father who is as involved in my family’s life as I can be. I often drop the kids off at school, coach their ball teams, attend school events, help with homework and tuck them in at night. I don’t just talk about putting family first, I live it.

Many Indiana representatives have made the same decision my wife Jennifer and I made for our family. In fact, my predecessor, now-Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence advised us and countless other members of Congress to keep our families together. We followed the Pence example and we’ve been clear about it with voters all along.

My Hoosier roots are as strong as ever. I co-own a home in Greensburg that my mom and I bought together before I was married. It’s the first home that either of us ever owned. That’s where I usually stay during my frequent trips home to Indiana.

I don’t blame people for being cynical about politics these days, but I got a great chuckle recently when a national reporter called the Greensburg Pizza King to do some fact-checking and the manager of the Pizza King provided instant verification that I am there “all the time.”

Just as the Pences demonstrated before me, representatives can keep their families close and serve their voters well. I’m committed to my faith and my family and I’m committed to continuing to serve Indiana with principles, honor and integrity.

It was important to me to keep my family together while I serve, and I believe most moms and dads in our situation would do the same. I trust Hoosiers to separate substance from sensationalism on this and the many other issues that will truly matter in the election for United States Senate.

Luke Messer represents Indiana’s 6th District in Congress. He’s a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.