A growing number of people with Indiana connections are joining the Trump administration, which a political scientist says isn’t that surprising.
Just this week Trump appointed Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Ted McKinney and Indiana Personnel Director Brandye Hendrickson to positions in his administration. And Trump nominated Indiana State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams as surgeon general last month.
Andy Downs is the director at IPFW’s Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics. He says administrations tend to look for people they know when filling openings. Vice President Mike Pence led Trump’s transition team, which Downs says increased the likelihood of people from Indiana joining the administration.
“What we’re seeing is not that unusual and for a lot of people when Pence was named to the ticket the excitement was that suddenly there would be connections to the federal government because of people coming from Indiana to go work in the federal government themselves,” Downs says.
Trump also selected Indiana health care consultant Seema Verma to run the Medicare and Medicaid agency earlier this year. She played a large role in shaping Indiana’s Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, known as HIP 2.0.
And former Indiana Senator Dan Coats is serving as director of national intelligence.