Whetstone, former state lawmaker turned lobbyist, seeks return to the Legislature

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A former state lawmaker is eyeing a return to the Indiana Legislature after working more than a decade as a lobbyist.

Republican Matt Whetstone of Brownsburg has filed to run in the open Indiana House District 25 in Hendricks and Boone counties. He joins three other other Republicans in a crowded primary race.

The other candidates are Kent Abernathy, Becky Cash and Douglas Rapp.

Whetstone was a lawmaker for 11 years in the Indiana House before he resigned from his seat midterm in 2007 to work as a lobbyist for Krieg DeVault law firm. He said at the time that he did not make enough money as a part-time lawmaker to send his kids to college.

In between lobbying stints, he spent three years as a top parliamentarian to former House Speaker Brian Bosma from 2012 to 2015.

Whetstone, 52, retired from lobbying last year, and when the new House District 25 was drawn into Brownsburg, he said he decided to run again. He wants to return to the Statehouse to continue to help people as an elected official, something he loves to do, he said.

He added that when he left office in 2007, he said he never ruled out the possibility of returning when he was in his 50s and his children were through college.

“That kind of institution is something I care for, and I think I can step in maybe more readily than anybody else that’s in the race,” Whetstone told IBJ.

Following his time as a parliamentarian in the House, Whetstone went to work as a principal at the 1816, Inc. lobbying firm, where one of his biggest clients was the casino company Spectacle Entertainment. He went to work for Spectacle as executive vice president at the end of 2020 and left after five months.

His brief stint at Spectacle came amid a controversy involving others at the company. Spectacle executive and former state lawmaker John Keeler was indicted  in 2020 on federal charges related to violating federal campaign finance laws. Executive Rod Ratcliff was permanently banned from the Indiana gambling industry. Ratcliff has not been charged with a crime.

Whetstone said he “walked into something he didn’t anticipate” and left the company in early 2021.

Whetstone additionally served as a Hendricks County Commissioner from 2013 to 2020. He is currently a member of First National Bank’s Board of Directors and the Indianapolis International Airport Board.

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