The Indiana Republican Party said Wednesday that Chairman Eric Holcomb and several other of its top leaders are stepping down to pursue other endeavors, having served through the transition from the state's longtime Republican governor to its current one.
Former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, who represents the state on the Republican National Committee, is leaving to focus more on the economic development job with Radius. Vice Chair Sandi Huddleston, a veteran party operative, Treasurer Peter Deputy and Executive Director Justin Garrett also are leaving their posts within the party.
"This service ranks as one of the best experiences of my life. I have enjoyed giving it my all and yet always realized I received so much more out of the endeavor than I ever invested in it," Holcomb said in a statement.
The departing group worked closely with Gov. Mitch Daniels over the last eight years to build the party into a dominant force in state politics. Gov. Mike Pence had asked Holcomb to stay on while he grasped the reins of the party, and the state. The new governor will now be tasked with picking a new party chairman.
Republicans had mixed success in last year's election, holding the governor's office in last year's election and building a supermajority in the Indiana House of Representatives. However, Democrats won a U.S. Senate seat and the state school superintendent's office.
Craig Dunn, the party's 4th District Chairman, said 2013 is the best time for rebuilding the party ranks because of the lack of an election this year.
"I liken it to the University of Louisville and having your five starters all signed by the NBA," Dunn said..