Republican Gov.-elect Eric Holcomb announced a transition team Wednesday afternoon headed by members of the former Mitch Daniels administration, an early signal he intends to take a page from Daniels’ leadership playbook.
Earl Goode, Daniels’ former chief of staff, and Kyle Hupfer, who was director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources under Daniels, will lead the effort.
Holcomb, who on Tuesday defeated Democrat John Gregg, also announced plans to establish a not-for-profit entity, Next Level Indiana Inc., to manage transition and inaugural work.
“While it’s just a first step, I am convinced their efforts will set the tone for my administration and ensure that we start moving toward taking Indiana to the next level,” Holcomb said in a statement.
Also included on Holcomb’s transition team are:
- WGU Indiana Chancellor Allison Barber
- Lutheran Health Network executive Brian Bauer
- Barnes & Thornburg managing partner Brian Burdick
- Campaign consultant Anne Hathaway
- U.S. Sen. Dan Coats aide Rebecca Holwerda
- Old National Bank Vice President Jeff Knight
- La Porte Mayor Blair Milo
- Pacers Vice Chairman Jim Morris
- Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel
- Indiana Energy Association President Emeritus Ed Simcox
- Former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman
- Indianapolis Public Schools Athletic Director Jamal Smith
- Zionsville Town Council President Susana Suarez
- Bradley Co. Vice President Rudy Yakym III
When asked whether his appointment of two chief Daniels aides could signal more hiring from that group, Holcomb said he would hire people involved over the last 12 years of Daniels’ and Gov. Mike Pence’s administration.
But Holcomb said he was committed to diversity and was excited that “over the course of the last 106 days, I’ve met a lot of new faces and a lot of energy and intellect we intend to incorporate.”
He said he hadn’t made any decisions yet about which agency heads to retain.
Holcomb, who said he spoke with both President-elect Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence last night, said he thought Trump’s performance in the state propelled him to success.
He said his administration’s priorities include passing a balanced budget next year, helping satisfy requirements of “21st century workforce demands,” and passing a long-term infrastructure program.