Danny Lopez, an executive for Pacers Sports & Entertainment who has previously served in various positions under the last three Indiana governors, said Thursday he will seek the Republican nomination for Indiana House District 39 in the May 2024 primary election.
The district, which includes portions of Carmel and Westfield, is being vacated by Rep. Jerry Torr, who is not seeking reelection. Torr has served in the House since 1996.
“I am running for State Representative to solve problems and work on practical solutions to the biggest challenges our families face, and I’m going to do it with the civility and optimism that reflects the kind of community we are,” Lopez said in a media release. “As I listen to my neighbors and others in our community, I know that people want their elected representatives to focus on the very issues they talk about at their kitchen tables, and that’s what I intend to do in the Statehouse.”
In a video announcement, Lopez said his campaign will focus on attracting high-paying jobs, strengthening services for Hoosier veterans, backing law enforcement and supporting parents and teachers.
Lopez is the first Republican to publicly announce a run for the open House district. Matt McNally, a Democrat who served in the U.S. Navy and has worked as an airline pilot, is also seeking the seat. McNally challenged Torr for the seat in 2022 and lost by five percentage points.
Lopez was deputy chief of staff for Gov. Eric Holcomb before taking a private sector job with Strada Education Network, an education not-for-profit that helps students pay for post-secondary education. In March 2020, he took a job as vice president for external affairs and communications with Pacers Sports & Entertainment.
In 2010, Lopez became executive director of the state of Indiana Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs under then-Gov. Mitch Daniels before becoming deputy director of the state Civil Rights Commission, special assistant to Gov. Mike Pence, and state director for the Office of Sen. Dan Coats.
A Florida native and a grandson of Cuban political refugees, he and his wife Sofia live in Carmel with their two children, Daniel and Alexandra. The couple moved to Indiana from Miami in 2008.
In 2016, Lopez was named to IBJ’s Forty Under 40 list.