Convicted Indiana felon seeks congressional nomination

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) — A convicted Indiana felon is seeking to run for a seat in the U.S. House.

Dion Douglas pleaded guilty in 2009 to a felony charge of theft in Madison County. He acknowledges using a company credit card to pay personal expenses, which he says was a mistake.

“I have bipolar disorder which made it difficult to keep a job,” he said. “Once I stopped fighting that and accepted it, I was able to turn around for the better.”

Federal law allows Douglas to run for Congress, The Herald Bulletin reported. However, his felony conviction bans him from seeking office in Madison County and the state.

Douglas mentions his conviction on his campaign website and on his social media pages. He’s currently a precinct committeeman for the Democratic Party in Green Township in the Summerlake area.

“I decided to run for office because I’m tired of the politics in Washington,” Douglas said.

The 41-year-old is one of five candidates seeking the Democratic Party nomination for the 5th Congressional District.

Douglas said he has been campaigning in Hamilton County and said he’s raised $1,000. He said he’s spent that on campaign buttons and cards.

“I’m going to run as lean a campaign as possible,” Douglas said. “The office pays $174,000 per year, and to spend thousands of dollars to campaign doesn’t make any sense. I will spend money on gasoline to travel and talk to people.”

The congressional district, which stretches from the north side of Indianapolis north to the Anderson and Marion areas, has been represented by Republicans for decades. Current GOP Rep. Susan Brooks won re-election in 2016 with 61 percent of the vote.