Apr 22, 2024 - News

Meet Eric Doden, gubernatorial candidate

Headshot of a man with glasses in front of a brick wall

Doden and his family are funding much of his campaign. Photo: Courtesy of Doden for Indiana

As Hoosiers cast ballots in the gubernatorial primaries between now and May 7, Axios asked candidates in the crowded GOP field about their views on top policy issues, Indianapolis and how they'd run the state.

Who's up: Eric Doden, the Fort Wayne businessman is one of two former leaders of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. in the race.

  • Doden, 54, was the first candidate to enter the race, announcing his bid three years ago.

🌱 Should Indiana legalize marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes?

No.

💰 Do you think Indiana's road funding formula is fair?

Indiana must be a state where all 92 counties are thriving, not just the four or five largest. Our administration will ensure that the road funding formula fits that strategy and vision.

🧐 Is the IEDC transparent enough?

As IEDC President from 2013-2015, we started an award-winning transparency portal and we need a return to that culture of transparency now. For more than 50 years, Indiana's economic development strategy has ignored our small towns and rural communities. For Indiana to reach its potential, we need a transparent and refocused IEDC that works from the bottom up, not the top down.

⚖️ The state legislature has waded into a lot of local issues recently. Are you comfortable with the balance between local control and state intervention in local decisions?

Healthy disagreement is good and the best ideas often come from passionate debates. Strong leadership means honesty, accountability, and bringing people together, and that is especially important with the Governor and General Assembly working together.

🛣️ Would you support a state takeover of Washington and Meridian streets?

The Hoosier leaders I meet every day prefer local control, and that is my guiding philosophy. However, if Indianapolis leaders can't meet their responsibilities, the state should be willing to get the job done.

ğŸŽ’ Is school choice working for Indianapolis kids and families?

Parents and kids deserve the right to choose the best schools for their families.

👪 Should FSSA maintain the attendant care program, or are changes to reduce costs necessary?

First, we must protect the vulnerable Hoosiers who depend on this program now. This isn't an either-or issue. We can make smart decisions to protect this program without breaking the state budget.

📈 What's one state agency that would function better at the end of your four-year term?

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

🧑‍💼 In 25 words or less, how would you pitch Indiana to the young, educated workers the state needs to keep and recruit more of?

Indiana is a great place to realize the American Dream — start a business or take a new job, put down roots, and raise a family.

🏫 What's Indiana's biggest challenge right now?

Too many young adults from small- and medium-sized towns are moving to the largest cities.

🐘 Republicans have had control at the Statehouse and in the governor's office for much of the last two decades, yet you've raised concerns about the state's tax structure, our workforce, the infant and maternal mortality rates, among other issues. Do Indiana Republicans bear any responsibility for these challenges? If so, what would you do differently?

Good leaders challenge the status quo. Twenty years have passed since Mitch Daniels took office and shook up state government — it is time to do it again.

🥰 If you're elected governor, you'd be an Indianapolis resident. What's something you'd look forward to about living here?

Watching Caitlin Clark and Anthony Richardson.

🏖️ What's your favorite vacation spot in Indiana?

Turkey Run State Park.

☝️ If a voter knows only one thing about you, what do you want it to be?

I'm the only candidate in this race with real plans and a vision for our state.

Go deeper: Meet the other candidates...

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