The contest for the Republican nomination for state representative is a familiar one.

The same two candidates faced each other two years ago.

Incumbent State Rep. J.D. Prescott is again facing a challenge from Brittany Kloer for the District 33 seat that now represents the southern two-thirds of Jay County.

Prescott, a Union City resident, is in the midst of his second term representing District 33. He works as a real estate agent and helps on his family farm during planting and harvest seasons.

Kloer is a Portland resident who is director of the Area 18 Career and Technical Education Cooperative and a former agriculture teacher at Jay County High School. A Henry County native, she earned her bachelor’s degree in agriculture education and her master’s degree in education administration at Purdue University.

When they met in the 2020 GOP primary, Prescott won with more than 69% of the vote. (He earned 63% of the vote in Jay County.)

District 33, which previously covered Jay and Randolph counties as well as part of Delaware County was redrawn in the fall and now covers the southern two-thirds of Jay County, all of Randolph and Blackford counties, and part of Delaware and Henry counties. (The northern third of the county is now part of District 79, currently represented by Matt Lehman of Berne.)

Prescott said he believes he has been true to who is and emphasized his push for Christian conservative values and balanced budgets. He said as a legislator he has focused on the needs of his constituents.

Kloer indicated that she chose to run again because she feels the changes that were hoped for in the legislature have not come to fruition. She said Prescott made promises that were not met and was critical of him on pro-life issues, saying legislation he supported in that area is not strong enough.

She also said she feels legislators should be focusing on helping their districts rather than focusing on issues happening elsewhere.

She called into question Prescott’s support of House Bill 1134, which would have banned “divisive concepts” and required teachers to post all lesson plans online.

“That piece of legislation just went way overboard,” said Kloer, indicating that she could vote for a bill banning “divisive concepts” but not one that would unnecessarily burden teachers. “As an educator, I had one parent ask in 12 years to see the lesson plan. And I was thrilled to provide it to them because I want parent involvement just as much as the other teachers.”

Prescott said he feels its important to keep “divisive concepts” out of schools and have them stick to reading, writing and arithmetic. While they may not be an issue currently in District 33, he said he wants to be proactive in “keeping politics out of the classroom.” He expressed his support of school choice, saying he thinks decisions on how to educate children should be left up to the parents.

On the budget — the General Assembly will be writing its two-year budget during the 2023 session — Kloer advocated for reducing taxes. She said she was pleased that the General Assembly passed a tax refund, but said it was not enough and referenced sales, diesel and gas taxes as being too high.

Prescott said his focuses when it comes to the budget include addressing a statewide workforce shortage, spending taxpayer dollars wisely and getting money back into the hands of constituents when possible. He touted the tax cut package passed by the legislature this year.

“We are looking at a big surplus,” he said. “That’s one of the main reasons we passed the big tax cut package. So I want to make sure that we’re investing in areas that are going to help with rural development. We obviously have a housing shortage as well.”

On other issues, Prescott said he is “100% pro-life” and believes life begins at conception. He said he expects the legislature to return to session this summer to address abortion if the Supreme Court makes any changes to federal law through its ruling on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health out of Mississippi.

He added that he plans to vote to overturn Gov. Eric Holcomb’s veto of a bill that would ban transgender women from competing in girls and women’s sports.

In regard to that bill, Kloer said she favors less government regulation, noting that the IHSAA and NCAA already have rules in place addressing transgender athletes.

She added that she is against proposed legislation to set statewide rules for solar and wind farms because she feels those decisions should be made at the local level. She also said she’d like to see a provision of House Bill 1001 overturned because it gives too much power to an unelected office.

She said she looks forward to the opportunity to serve both her home county and her native county.

“I have loved this community,” she said. “I have lived here for 12 years. I was excited to see that my home county has been added back into District 33. I have been a public servant to this community for 14 years and I would like to continue that service at the statehouse.”

Prescott said he wants to continue to work on issues such as rural broadband and to keep advocating for the values he has in his three-plus years in office.

“I’m going to continue to push for Christian conservative values as a whole,” he said. “I’m always easily accessible. … I’m always open and willing to conversations, just to listen … to any new ideas. I just really appreciate having the opportunity to serve and look forward to continuing to serve.”