Fred Nation, a long-time Indianapolis Motor Speedway executive vice president, announced Tuesday that he will be a Democratic candidate for mayor of his hometown, Terre Haute, next year.
Nation recently filed a candidate’s statement of organization at the Vigo County Courthouse, forming the “Nation for Mayor” committee.
Nation, 66, told the Terre Haute Tribune-Star that he made the decision to seek the city’s top job five weeks ago.
Terre Haute’s current mayor is Duke Bennett, a Republican (the first Republican mayor of Terre Haute in over 35 years), who is finishing out his first four-year term.
Since 1996, Nation has worked for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and has been a close ally to Tony George, who was removed as IMS boss last year. Nation said he will continue to work at IMS through his mayoral campaign.
Nation, an Indiana State University graduate, has never held a political office, but has considerable roots in politics, serving as press secretary from 1979 to 1980 for U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh and as press secretary for Gov. Evan Bayh from 1989 to 1996.
In other IMS news, long-time communications/PR employee Eric Powell, announced he is leaving the Speedway at the end of this year to take a job with the Indiana Rail Road Co. Powell is the latest in a string of departures, including Ron Green and Chris Schwartz, who have left IMS’ communications/marketing department in the last year.