INDIANAPOLIS — Two days after America celebrated Independence Day, Nathan Gotsch has submitted far more than the required number of signatures for an independent candidate to secure a spot on the ballot in the presidential election. this fall for Congress in Indiana’s 3rd district.

“I am extremely grateful to our amazing team of signature collectors,” Gotsch said in a provided press release, “and to the thousands of voters in Northeast Indiana who want another choice in November and who were ready to sign their name on it. Thanks to the hard work of many people, it will now happen.

Indiana state law requires independent and third-party candidates to obtain signatures from registered voters equal to 2% of the total votes cast for Indiana secretary of state in the last general election. There are no signature requirements for Republican or Democratic candidates for Congress, the statement said.

In the 3rd district, this meant that Gotsch and his supporters had to collect at least 4,598 signatures, while his main party competitors could concentrate on campaigning.

A lawsuit filed earlier this year by the Center for Competitive Democracy on behalf of minor political parties, independent candidates and their voter-supporters alleges that these ballot access rules are unconstitutional. She is currently pending in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

Gotsch and his team submitted signatures from 3rd District counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Jay, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells and Whitley.

Each signature was validated by their respective election commissions, and on Wednesday Gotsch delivered them to the office of the Indiana secretary of state for a final compilation.

That total number of valid signatures – 7,001 – exceeded the number of votes cast for the Democratic nominee in the same race in the May primary election (6,777).

“These numbers tell me that people in northeast Indiana are ready to move beyond partisan politics,” Gotsch said. “The next few months are going to be a long job interview, and I’m going to work hard trying to convince them to hire me as a congressman.”

A native of Fort Wayne, Gotsch has extensive experience in education and the media, according to the statement. After spending the early years of his professional career working in entertainment, he returned to northeast Indiana to teach at his alma mater, Concordia Lutheran High School. He also spent time as a communications consultant for a health-based nonprofit foundation, working to improve mental health awareness in northeast Indiana.

In 2021, he founded an organization focused on fighting COVID in northeast Indiana using one-on-one conversations between family and friends to spread lifesaving information about preventative measures and lifesaving treatment options.

Gotsch will officially launch his campaign next week in a series of public events throughout northeast Indiana. To learn more, donate, or sign up to receive email updates, visit nathanforus.com.