At least three Republicans are now trying to replace outgoing state Sen. Jim Merritt in the Indiana General Assembly.
Merritt, who has represented Senate District 31 for three decades, announced earlier this month that he plans to resign Nov. 4. He has two years left on his term.
Fishers City Council President Cecilia Coble and former Marion County Republican Party Chairman Kyle Walker have both announced plans to seek the open seat. Former Indianapolis City-County Councilor Michael McQuillen is also running.
A Republican caucus will vote on Merritt’s successor, but a date for that vote has not yet been decided.
The Senate district encompasses Lawrence Township, a small portion of Washington Township, and Fall Creek Township in Hamilton County.
Coble has been on the Fishers City Council since 2014 and became the body’s first female president earlier this year. She is also president of the Hamilton County Republican Women’s Club.
“As a woman, a mother and a proud Hispanic Republican, I will bring a unique, personal perspective to the Indiana Senate,” Coble said in a written statement on Wednesday. “As an attorney with both business and municipal government experience, I have a successful, professional background built on finding solutions in the private and public sectors. As a resident of this district for the past 22 years, I understand the needs of this community and will always work in its best interest.”
Walker, who is currently senior vice president for consulting firm M/O Strategies, served as chairman of Marion County GOP from 2010-2015 and is a former Lawrence City Council member.
“Having spent most of my life working with business, community and Republican Party leaders, I will be positioned to make a difference from day one, to strengthen our region, bolster our economy and defend the freedom and liberties we hold dear,” Walker said in a Facebook post announcing his decision on Saturday.
McQuillen was an Indianapolis City-County Council member from 2008 to 2019, representing District 4 and serving as minority leader. He owns PoliticalParade.com, a business that buys and sells political memorabilia.