Kokomo attorney Mark Hurt is the first Republican to file to run against Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, who’s up for reelection in 2018.
Hurt says he wants to return to Reagan-era policies, what he calls peace through strength.
“I’ve talked to vets and people around Indiana, they feel like some of our strategic weapons systems have really fallen behind the People’s Republic of China and Russia,” Hurt says. “They want to see us protect our interests, so that’s going to mean an investment both in our military personnel [and] weapon systems. Whether that’s ships, nuclear submarines. We can’t have strength through weakness.”
With a master’s degree in foreign policy from Baylor University, a private Christian school in Texas, Hurt says he wants to focus on foreign relations, immigration regulation and increasing border security.
He also wants to see institutional reform; for example, having hearings and votes on one issue at a time, rather than tying things together, and making things more transparent in sessions for bills.
Hurt says his core values better represent the people of Indiana.
“Senator Donnelly grew up in the Queens, New York,” Hurt says. “I believe that Senator Donnelly’s voting record shows more of a New York mentality [and] value system than say, central Indiana, the values that we hold here in Indiana.”
Hurt worked as a medical advisor on medical malpractice reform for Senator Dan Coats. Hurt says he wants to create more jobs for psychiatrists and counselors to combat mental health issues.
Over the next three months, Hurt will attend Reagan-Lincoln day dinners across the state to kick off his campaign.
Republican U.S. Representative Luke Messer has taken steps toward running against Donnelly next year. U.S. Representative Todd Rokita may also seek the Republican nomination.