Another Visclosky alum seeking to succeed Region’s longtime congressman

Dan Carden – Jan 9, 2020

GARY — Another Democrat with ties to retiring U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Gary, is joining the contest to succeed him as Northwest Indiana’s representative in the U.S. House.

Melissa Borom, of Gary, worked for Visclosky in his Region and Washington, D.C. offices in 2014 and 2015 while simultaneously earning her law degree at Valparaiso University.

She announced Wednesday that she’s running for Congress because everyone deserves a similar opportunity to succeed — no matter where they’re from.

“As an African American woman growing up in Northwest Indiana, it didn’t always feel like every door was open to me,” Borom said. “But because of determined parents — a retired East Chicago teacher and a Merrillville school custodian — willing to make every sacrifice to ensure I received a quality education, I had the opportunity to go to law school and even give back to my community.”

Borom said in Congress she will focus on ensuring equal access to quality education as a means to create more economic opportunities for residents of the 1st District, which includes all of Lake and Porter counties and western LaPorte County.

“I’ll focus on ensuring that everyone has access to the skills training they need for the career opportunities available,” Borom said. “And I won’t stop until women are paid equally for their work.”

Borom never has held elected office. She was defeated by former state Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, in a 2018 Democratic primary for Lake County Council.

At the same time, she has several years of experience working with lawmakers in six states, including Indiana, through her job as government affairs manager for AAR Corporation, an independent provider of global aviation services.

The deadline for candidates to file for the Region’s rarely vacant U.S. House seat is Feb. 7.

Democrats already running include Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., North Township Trustee Frank J. Mrvan, Valparaiso attorney Jim Harper, Munster state Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, Gary attorney Sabrina Haake and DeMotte activist Ryan Farrar.

Both Harper and Candelaria Reardon also worked for Visclosky during his 36 years serving Northwest Indiana in Congress.

No Republican has represented the 1st District since it first was centered on Northwest Indiana in the 1930s.