The Indiana Republican Party's executive committee voted unanimously Monday to elect Auditor Tim Berry as the state GOP chairman and to hold the party's 2014 state convention in his hometown of Fort Wayne — the first time the event has been held away from Indianapolis.
The committee's vote to select Berry endorsed the choice of Gov. Mike Pence as he puts his personal stamp on the Indiana Republican Party. Former Chairman Eric Holcomb is leaving after nearly three years in the post to run U.S. Sen. Dan Coats' state office.
Berry will remain state auditor until Pence appoints a new one. Pence said Monday he has about six candidates and hopes to make the appointment by mid-August. He has said the person he selects should expect to seek a full term as auditor next year.
The 2014 Republican convention will be held at Grand Wayne Center, which was also the site of the Democratic Party's state convention last year. The Democratic convention attracted about 3,000 people to Fort Wayne, the state's second largest city.
Republicans in Allen County, where Fort Wayne is the county seat, have been seeking the convention nod for several months.
"We're absolutely ecstatic," Allen County Republican Chairman Steve Shine told The Journal Gazette. "It is a great honor for the Allen County Republican Party as well as for Allen County itself."
The Indiana GOP has never held its state convention outside Indianapolis.
Delegates to next year's state party conventions will select nominees for three statewide offices: auditor, secretary of state and treasurer.