I-Team 8

Could Daniels return to Indiana governor’s office, or will Sen. Braun run?

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Two former staffers for Mitch Daniels have formed a political action committee to encourage him to run.

Daniels, the retiring Purdue University president and a former two-term Republican governor of Indiana, recently told I-Team 8, “I’m not much of a planner and I’m not planning now.”

Ben Ledo and Christie Luther Hurst, two of his former staffers from the governor office, formed the political action committee Frugal Hoosier for Mitch 2024 with the express intent to get Daniels back into political arena.

Hurst, the co-founder of Frugal Hoosiers for Mitch 2024, said, “We would love to see him participate again. We know he loves Indiana and he has big ideas and sometimes timing is everything.

The PAC for Daniels is seeking donations of $5 or less on its website. My Man Mitch2024.com went live Friday.

Hurst says the initial response was more than she had expected, but wouldn’t say exactly how many people had donated or how much had been collected. If Daniels decides to run, the money will get turned over to the campaign.

If not, Hurst said, “To be honest I haven’t really thought about it. We are open to suggestions. Our requirements would be that it supports Hoosiers and follows the rules.”

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, a Republican serving Indiana, is another name circulating as making a possible run for the governor’s seat. On Friday morning, Braun spoke to the Indiana Farm Bureau at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Asked by I-Team 8 if he planned to run, Braun said the decision will come early in 2023. 

“I mean it is going to be a cumulation of everything I have learned as the senator that got the most legislation through in 2021 compared to what it takes to have real authority there when you are one of a hundred, when you know you might be able to get more done back home in your home state.”

So, asked if that means he leaning toward running for governor, Braun said, “Well, you said that, so I will take that comment along with all the others I get.”  

The governor’s race is more than two years off.