Republican state representative says she was ‘forced’ to resign weeks after being re-elected in Indiana

Three short weeks after being re-elected, a Republican state representative has announced that she is stepping down, according to The Washington Times.

Indiana Rep. Christy Stutzman (R) announced Tuesday that she would be resigning from her seat representing the state’s 49th District, saying in a statement that the decision was “forced” upon her due to Indiana’s stringent coronavirus-related restrictions.

“It is with a heavy heart that I will be tendering my resignation from my position as State Representative in order to focus on our family and salvage our business and the jobs of those we employ,” she wrote.

“As the co-owner of a newly acquired business at the beginning of 2020, this year has been extremely difficult,” Stutzman added. “We have lost key partners and staff and have been devastated by the mandatory restrictions put in place by the Governor and health departments.”

A crushing setback

According to the Times, Stutzman, along with some business partners, purchased earlier this year the Amish Acres tourist attraction, which they renamed The Barns at Nappanee.

According to the Indianapolis Star, the attraction “features a 400-seat theater in a historic barn and a restaurant that can seat hundreds more.”

Writing Tuesday, Stutzman said guidelines put in place by the state of Indiana due to the COVID-19 pandemic have made it difficult for her to keep the new business afloat.

“Now, with the recent round of new mandatory Covid-related restrictions issued by the Governor, with no input or approval from the members of the General Assembly, our businesses and family have been set back further and I will be required to devote even more attention to helping our business survive into next year,” she said in her statement.

The final straw

The latest restrictions put in place by Indiana’s Republican governor, Eric Holcomb, were put forth Nov. 13. Speaking with the Indianapolis Star, Stutzman said the guidelines don’t make clear which category her business would fall into, which has led to some ambiguity about how many people her venues are allowed to host.

She told the Star that the governor’s order “was convoluted and confusing,” adding that “it felt like it lacked understanding of what businesses need in order to finish the year with some stability.”

“I can’t be gone for four months to serve in the legislature if my business is going to survive,” she said. “I feel like I was forced to make this decision.”

Stutzman’s resignation will go into effect on Dec. 14, according to The Washington Times.

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