In a three-hour meeting Tuesday morning, the Indiana Republican State Committee nominated Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb to replace Governor Mike Pence on the ballot for governor. Pence withdrew from the gubernatorial race after he was selected to be Donald Trump’s running mate.
Holcomb and U.S. Representatives Susan Brooks and Todd Rokita all withdrew from their respective races for the chance to run for governor. State Senator Jim Tomes (R-Wadesville) also entered the pool of potential replacements, however Tomes was not up for re-election this year.
The election was done by secret ballot among the 22 members of the committee. It took two rounds of voting for Holcomb to be proclaimed the winner. Despite the results of the first vote being leaked from the voting room and posted on Twitter, State GOP chairman Jeff Cardwell stated he would not release the vote decision that determined Holcomb as the winner. Cardwell would have had the deciding vote should the 22 members have been deadlocked in a tie. The first vote was reported as 11 votes for Holcomb, nine votes for Brooks, two votes for Rokita and none for Tomes.
Holcomb says the work to convince voters that he should be governor begins now and he will seek out the advice and recommendations from the state committee on the next steps, including the search for a lieutenant governor. When asked if he would consider any of his opponents in this special appointment race as a running mate, Holcomb replied that he would consider any and all interested persons for the appointment.
Brooks and Rokita announced plans to return to their respective congressional districts, but offered congratulations to Holcomb and stated they would work to help his campaign for governor in any way possible.
Special caucuses in the 4th and 5th congressional districts will be held before August 14 for precinct committee chairs to place congressional candidates on the ballot. Brooks and Rokita could be re-appointed on the ballot unless the precinct committee chairs decide to appoint a different candidate. So far, no one in the 5th district has expressed an interest in filling the space, but two people in the 4th district have filed the paperwork expressing their interest.
In his comments about the race ahead, Holcomb stated that he will continue to work to move Indiana forward, just as he believes Pence and former Gov. Mitch Daniels have done over the past 11 years. Holcomb says he will stress Indiana’s positive economic developments as reasons for voters to promote him to governor.