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Holcomb Announces Bid to Replace Coats

Brandon Smith
Indiana Public Broadcasting

Just two days after U.S. Senator Dan Coats announced he won’t seek reelection next year, a contender  is throwing his hat into the ring. 

Eric Holcomb steered former Governor Mitch Daniels’ 2008 reelection campaign, led the Indiana  Republican Party and most recently served as State Chief of Staff to Senator Dan Coats. 

But Thursday,  Holcomb announced a personal first: a run for office.

“And that’s why today, ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud, I’m excited," says Holcomb, "to announce my candidacy for the United States Senate.” 

Despite never serving in elected office, he says he’s not worried about making the jump all the way to a  Senate run.

“I’ve been around very successful folks who’ve held office and I’ve helped them all along the way," says Holcomb. "So I’ve  learned a ton over the years and I want to take what I’ve learned and lead it in Washington, D.C.” 

Holcomb is the first to join what could be a crowded GOP primary field for Coats’ seat. Other possible  candidates include Congresswomen Susan Brooks and Jackie Walorski and Congressmen Todd Young,  Todd Rokita, and Marlin Stutzman. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.