The Indiana Republican State Committee voted Tuesday to approve Eric Holcomb as the GOP candidate for governor, replacing Mike Pence as he seeks the Vice Presidency as Donald Trump’s running mate.
Holcomb has served as Lieutenant Governor for five months, since he was appointed by Gov. Mike Pence after Sue Ellspermann resigned from the position. He has never served in elected office, but rose quickly as a politician in recent months.
Who Is Eric Holcomb?
Holcomb is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and a graduate of Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana.
He worked on the campaign team of U.S. Rep. John Hostettler starting in 1997. In 2000, Holcomb ran for office in the Indiana House of Representatives and was defeated by Democratic incumbent John Frenz.
Holcomb worked with Mitch Daniels from 2003 until 2011, first on the campaign trail and then as an adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff after Daniels’ election as governor.
In 2010, Daniels endorsed Holcomb for the State Republican Party Chair. Holcomb served in that position until he stepped down in 2013.
Shortly after, Holcomb became the Chief of Staff for U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind. He served on Coats’ team for close to two years; in early 2015, Coats announced he would not run for reelection.
Days later, Holcomb resigned from Coats’ staff to join Marlin Stutzman and Todd Young seeking to fill the open seat.
However, Holcomb withdrew from the Senate race before the primary election, just before Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann resigned her position to seek the presidency at Ivy Tech Community College. Pence chose Holcomb to replace Ellspermann as his lieutenant governor and running mate for reelection in 2016.
Holcomb was sworn in on March 3. When Gov. Pence withdrew his name from the gubernatorial race on the deadline to withdraw from the Indiana ballot, Holcomb withdrew his own name from the ballot and announced his desire to run for governor.