Victoria Spartz

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Victoria Spartz
Victoria Spartz 117th U.S Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2021
Preceded bySusan Brooks
Member of the Indiana Senate
from the 20th district
In office
October 1, 2017 – November 17, 2020
Preceded byLuke Kenley
Succeeded byScott Baldwin
Personal details
Born
Viktoriya Kulheyko

(1978-10-06) October 6, 1978 (age 43)
Nosivka, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union (now Ukraine)
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
Jason Spartz
(m. 2000)
Children2
EducationKyiv National Economic University (BS, MBA)
Indiana University, Indianapolis (MAcc)
WebsiteHouse website

Victoria Spartz (née Kulheyko; Ukrainian: Вікторія Кульгейко, romanizedViktoriya Kul'heyko;[1] born October 6, 1978) is a Ukrainian-born American politician and businesswoman who is the U.S. representative for Indiana's 5th congressional district. She previously represented the 20th district in the Indiana Senate.[2]

Early life and education

Victoria Kulheyko was born in Nosivka, Ukraine, which at the time was part of the USSR.[3][4][5] Before moving to the U.S., she earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Kyiv National Economic University. [6]

Spartz immigrated to the United States in 2000 at the age of 22 and became a U.S. citizen in 2006.[7][8][9] She then earned a Master of Accountancy from the Kelley School of Business of Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis.[6]

Early career

Spartz held a certified public accountant license from 2010 to 2021 and a real estate broker license from 2003 to 2020, both from the State of Indiana.[10]

Spartz was a founding member of the Hamilton County, Indiana, Tea Party.[11] Before her appointment to the Indiana Senate, she served as CFO in the Indiana Attorney General's office.[12] She was also an adjunct faculty member at the Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis,[13] and has owned real estate and farming businesses.[14][15]

In 2017, Spartz was appointed to the Indiana Senate from the 20th district after Luke Kenley resigned.[16]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

After incumbent Republican Susan Brooks announced in June 2019 that she would not seek reelection, Spartz announced her candidacy for Indiana's 5th congressional district. She won the Republican primary on June 2, 2020.[17] The district had historically been a bastion of suburban conservatism, but had been heavily targeted by Democrats in the wake of Brooks's retirement and Donald Trump's growing unpopularity in suburban areas. The Cook Political Report rated the race a toss-up.[18]

Spartz won the November general election, defeating former state representative Christina Hale, the Democratic nominee, by four percent.[19][20][21] This was the closest race in the district since it was reconfigured as a northern suburban district in 1983 (it had been numbered the 6th until 2003), and only the second time in that period that a Democrat had received at least 40% of the vote.[22][23] Spartz prevailed by winning her home county of Hamilton, the most populous county entirely within the district, by 20,100 votes, more than her district-wide margin of just under 17,000 votes.[24] She ran just behind Trump, who won the district with 50.1% of the vote.[25]

Indiana's 5th congressional district, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Victoria Spartz 208,212 50.0
Democratic Christina Hale 191,226 45.9
Libertarian Ken Tucker 16,788 4.0
Total votes 416,226 100.0
Republican hold

Tenure

Spartz is the first Ukrainian-born female member of Congress and the first member born in a former Soviet republic.[4][26][3] At least two past members of Congress were born in the then-Russian Empire, Herman Kopplemann and Herman Toll.[27]

In late 2020, Spartz was identified as a participant in the Freedom Force, a group of incoming Republican members of the House of Representatives who "say they're fighting against socialism in America".[28][29][30][31]

Spartz's tenure has been marked by high staff turnover. Congressional watchdog Legistorm measured her turnover in 2021 at three and half times the average of offices of House members, the highest turnover for a non-retiring member.[32][33] In May 2022, Politico reported of a toxic environment within her office, with Spartz's temper quickly jumping from tepid to boiling, and reported that "aides who have left after a couple of months did so because the work environment became untenable." Examples of the office environment included Spartz ordering staff to record her direction to staff and later denying the previously expressed instructions, despite the recordings. One former aide said, "the common theme: Staffers do their job, and then Victoria comes in saying that they have no idea what they’re doing, that they are 'morons,' calling them 'idiots.'" Spartz responded that her working style is "not for everyone" and that her critics "need to 'toughen up'".[34] [35]

Iraq

In June 2021, Spartz was one of 49 House Republicans to vote to repeal the AUMF against Iraq.[36][37]

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

Spartz called the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine "a genocide of the Ukrainian people by a crazy man."[38] Spartz was one of the first US officials to call Russian actions "war crimes."[39][40] At the time of the invasion, Spartz had family still living in Ukraine, including her grandmother, who was living in Chernihiv, which was under siege by Russia.[41]

During the ongoing invasion, Spartz traveled to Ukraine twice in April 2022. The first time was an unannounced visit to Bucha with U.S. Senator Steve Daines. Spartz and Daines were the first two U.S officials to visit Ukraine since the war started. The second trip was to Lviv, Kyiv, and Odesa with Representative Tim Walberg.[42][43] During the trip Spartz meet with Metropolitan Epifaniy.[44]Spartz has been critical of the speed and effectiveness of international humanitarian aid efforts.[45]

Allegations against Ukraine officials

In July 2022, Spartz criticized Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, accusing him of "playing politics and theater" and not governing seriously.[46] In an interview with Ukrainian press, she accused the country's leaders of not preparing for war and not understanding the war's importance. She alleged that weapons sent to Ukraine may have ended up in Syria or Russia. She asserts that there is insufficient monitoring of U.S.-provided weaponry, and that Congress needs to take control in this area.[47][48][49]

Also in July, Spartz enumerated six allegations of misbehavior against Andrii Yermak, a top official in Ukraine's government. Spartz asked the White House to investigate the allegations and report to a Congressional oversight committee. Among the allegations are that Yermak leaked war information to Russia, in several specific ways delayed or damaged Ukraine's military war efforts, and through his deputy Oleg Tatarov delayed the appointment of an anti-corruption prosecutor.[50][51][52][53] Yermak had earlier been accused in a scandal involving selling government jobs, and Tatarov's qualification to serve in a government capacity was in question.[54][51]

The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine responded that Spartz's allegations were "baseless speculation."[55] Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, who has been working with Yermak on sanctions policy, said that Yermak has been strongly anti-Russia and has proposed creative and novel sanctions.[56] Some Republican representatives and senators disagreed with Spartz's accusations. Senator Lindsey Graham said "I don’t share her criticisms" and “I believe that the Zelenskyy government and the Ukrainian people have risen to the moment. It is in our national security interest to stand with the Ukrainian people and their elected leadership." Some Republicans also believe the accusations could hurt the war effort and damage U.S. relations with Ukraine, while boosting GOP elements who opposed aid to Ukraine.[56][57]

Committee assignments

Caucus membership

Personal life

While Spartz was in college, she met her future husband, Jason Spartz, on a train in Europe.[61] They married in 2000.[62] They have two daughters[62] and live in Noblesville, Indiana.[6] Jason is a Noblesville native whose father met his mother, a German citizen, while he was serving in World War II.[63]

See also

References

  1. ^ Bozhok, Snizhana (November 12, 2020). "Вікторія Спартц: як українка потрапила в Конгрес і до чого тут потяг у Москву". BBC News Ukrainian (in Ukrainian).
  2. ^ "List of All Offices and Office Holders". Capitolandwashington.com. March 5, 2015. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "FIRST TIME IN HISTORY A UKRAINE-BORN PERSON WILL SERVE IN THE U.S. CONGRESS - VICTORIA SPARTZ, INDIANA'S 5th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT". www.usubc.org.
  4. ^ a b "The first Ukrainian-born member of Congress". The Ukrainian Weekly.
  5. ^ "Американська сенаторка родом із Носівки". golos.com.ua. July 31, 2019. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c Lange, Kaitlin (May 31, 2020). "Republicans try to stand out in crowded Indiana 5th District race". Indianapolis Star. Indianapolis, Indiana. Retrieved January 1, 2021. Bachelor's degree in international economics and master's degree in business administration from the National University of Economics in Ukraine, professional accountancy master's degree from Indiana University Indianapolis.
  7. ^ "One on One with Senator Victoria Spartz". Hamiltoncountybusiness.com. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  8. ^ "Immigrant proud to be American on this day". The Times. Noblesville, Indiana. January 19, 2017. Archived from the original on November 26, 2018.
  9. ^ "Victoria Spartz". Ballotpedia.org. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  10. ^ "MyLicense Verification". mylicense.in.gov. State of Indiana. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  11. ^ "Rep.-elect Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.-05)". The Hill. November 30, 2020. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  12. ^ "CFO for Indiana Attorney General's office takes over Sen. Luke Kenley's seat - Indiana Economic Digest". Indianaeconomicdigest.com. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  13. ^ "Ukrainian immigrant Spartz picked to replace Kenley in Senate". Ibj.com. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  14. ^ Wren, Adam (May 8, 2020). "The $750,000 Candidate Who Lives in a Trailer Park". IMPORTANTVILLE. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  15. ^ "Indiana Legislator Database". Legdb.iga.in.gov. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  16. ^ Sikich, Chris (September 7, 2017). "Republicans make surprise pick to replace Sen. Luke Kenley". Indystar.com. Retrieved November 30, 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ "Indiana Primary Election Results: Fifth Congressional District". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  18. ^ Wasserman, David (October 8, 2020). "October House Overview: Democrats Poised to Expand Majority". The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  19. ^ Stabile, Angelica (November 9, 2020). "13 GOP women join the House, dominating congressional elections, making history". FOX News. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  20. ^ Gibson, Kaitlin Lange and London. "Republican Victoria Spartz wins Indiana's 5th Congressional District race". The Indianapolis Star.
  21. ^ "Republican Spartz wins hard-fought Indiana US House race". Associated Press. November 4, 2020.
  22. ^ "Our Campaigns - Container Detail Page". www.ourcampaigns.com.
  23. ^ "Our Campaigns - Container Detail Page". www.ourcampaigns.com.
  24. ^ Election results from CNN
  25. ^ Presidential election results by congressional district from Daily Kos
  26. ^ Schultz, Marisa (December 26, 2020). "Rep.-elect Victoria Spartz, raised in Soviet country, says it's 'crazy' for Americans to want socialism here". Fox News.
  27. ^ Andrews, Eliza Collins and Natalie (March 5, 2022). "GOP's Victoria Spartz, Born in Ukraine, Aims to Step Up U.S. Response to Russia". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  28. ^ Jankowicz, Mia (November 30, 2020). "A group of incoming GOP House members, calling themselves the 'Freedom Force,' are trying to counter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's 'Squad'". Business Insider. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  29. ^ Parrott, Jeff (December 29, 2020). "GOP's 'Freedom Force' members say they are ready to take on the 'socialist Squad'". Deseret News. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  30. ^ Parke, Caleb (December 1, 2020). "GOP Congresswoman-elect on forming 'Freedom Force': Left is 'totally out of line' with mainstream". Fox News. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  31. ^ Noor, Poppy (November 30, 2020). "The 'Freedom Force': Republican group takes on the Squad and 'evil' socialism". the Guardian. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  32. ^ "Worst bosses? - LegiStorm". www.legistorm.com. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  33. ^ "Last year's staff turnover was the House's worst in decades, data shows ! LegiStorm". www.legistorm.com. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  34. ^ Beavers, Olivia (May 6, 2022). "Amid an uproar over Capitol staff mistreatment, meet the House's 'worst boss'". Politico.
  35. ^ Hakim-Shabazz, Abdul (May 11, 2022). "Speaking with Spartz". Indy Politics.
  36. ^ Shabad, Rebecca (June 17, 2021). "House votes to repeal 2002 Iraq War authorization". NBC News. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  37. ^ "HR 256 To repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002: Final Vote Results for Roll Call 172". Clerk of House of Representatives. June 17, 2021. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  38. ^ Griffiths, Brent D. (March 1, 2022). "Ukrainian-American Rep. Victoria Spartz makes an emotional plea for stronger US action: 'This is a genocide of the Ukrainian people by a crazy man'". Business Insider. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  39. ^ Zengerle, Patricia (March 2, 2022). "U.S. lawmakers join calls for war crimes probe of Russia". Reuters. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  40. ^ Carney, Jordain (March 2, 2022). "Graham offers Senate measure urging Putin to be investigated for war crimes". The Hill. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  41. ^ Rafford, Claire (March 2, 2022). "Rep. Victoria Spartz delivers emotional speech as Russia wages war on Ukraine". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
  42. ^ Kramer, Andrew E. (April 14, 2022). "As two U.S. lawmakers visit Kyiv, the trip's organizer says he hopes more officials, and weapons, will follow". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  43. ^ Burke, Melissa Nann. "After visit to Ukraine, Walberg says it can win war if West provides more resources". The Detroit News. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  44. ^ "Metropolitan Epifaniy meets with the US Congress members - RISU". Religious Information Service of Ukraine. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
  45. ^ "Juggling Trump and War, Congress's Only Ukrainian-Born Member Has Some Demands". Vanity Fair. May 6, 2022. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  46. ^ "Presidents Biden and Zelensky need to stop playing politics with people's lives and Congress has to implement proper oversight in Ukraine" (Press release). Representative Victoria Spartz. July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  47. ^ Desiderio, Andrew (July 11, 2022). "Victoria Spartz is accusing the Ukrainian government of not taking its war with Russia seriously enough". Politico. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  48. ^ Sydorenko, Sergiy (July 13, 2022). "Not Only SAPO: Kyiv Should Pay Attention to Spartz's Demands Despite Conflict with Her". Eurointegration. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  49. ^ Сидоренко, Сергій; Мусаєва, Севгіль (July 11, 2022). "Інтерв'ю Вікторії Спартц: звинувачення до Єрмака, контроль за зброєю та закиди до України" [Interview with Victoria Spartz: Accusations against Yermak, Arms Control and Criticism of Ukraine]. Eurointegration (in Ukrainian). Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  50. ^ Wiles, Griffin (July 10, 2022). "Ukraine-born Indiana lawmaker questions allegiance of a top Ukrainian official". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  51. ^ a b Sukhov, Oleg (July 12, 2022). "Explainer: Is there any merit to Congresswoman Spartz' accusations against Zelensky's chief of staff?". The Kyiv Independent. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  52. ^ "President Zelensky Must Address the Yermak Issue" (Press release). Representative Victoria Spartz. July 9, 2022. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  53. ^ "Spartz requests President Biden to brief Congress on Andriy Yermak, President Zelensky's Chief of Staff" (Press release). Representative Victoria Spartz. July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  54. ^ "Who Is ″Burying″ Tatarov's Case? Timeline". Transparency International. November 30, 2021. Retrieved July 19, 2022.
  55. ^ Vakil, Caroline (July 9, 2022). "Ukrainian Foreign Ministry hits Rep. Spartz over 'baseless speculation' on Zelensky chief of staff". The Hill. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  56. ^ a b Desiderio, Andrew; Beavers, Olivia (July 15, 2022). "Republicans wince as their Ukrainian-born colleague thrashes Zelenskyy". Politico. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  57. ^ Dorman, John L. (July 17, 2022). "Republicans are concerned over Ukrainian-born GOP Rep. Victoria Spartz's vocal criticism of Volodymyr Zelenskyy: 'Her naiveness is hurting our own people'". Business Insider. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  58. ^ "Foxx Welcomes Committee Members Recommended for 117th Congress". Committee on Education & Labor Republicans. January 25, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  59. ^ "Ranking Member Jordan Welcomes Members to House Judiciary Committee for the 117th Congress". House Judiciary Committee Republicans. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  60. ^ "Membership". Republican Study Committee. December 6, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  61. ^ Schultz, Marisa. Rep.-elect Victoria Spartz, raised in Soviet country, says it's 'crazy' for Americans to want socialism here, FOX News, December 28, 2020.
  62. ^ a b Lange, Kaitlin (August 27, 2020). "How Victoria Spartz's Ukrainian roots influence her conservative values". Indianapolis Star. Indianapolis, Indiana. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  63. ^ Erdody, Lindsey. "5th District candidate Spartz seizes chances to 'challenge and fight'". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved May 7, 2022.

External links

Indiana Senate
Preceded by Member of the Indiana Senate
from the 20th district

2017–2020
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 5th congressional district

2021–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
415th
Succeeded by
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article: Victoria Spartz. Articles is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.