Race to replace: Brooks, Holcomb and Rokita bid for Republican nomination in governor’s race

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Susan Brooks (left), Eric Holcomb (center) and Rodd Rokita (right)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The mad scramble is on to replace Mike Pence on Indiana’s Republican ticket.

Pence withdrew his name from consideration and accepted Donald Trump’s offer to become vice president in the presidential race.

The decision set off a flurry of activity Friday at the Secretary of State’s Office as Republican candidates rushed to file paperwork.

Pence’s attorney filed his paperwork to withdraw from the race around 11 a.m. Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb then filed his paperwork to withdraw from consideration for lieutenant governor and enter the race for governor.

Rep. Susan Brooks threw her hat into the ring Friday as well, as did Rep. Todd Rokita.

Some prominent Republicans decided not to enter the race, including House Speaker Brian Bosma and Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. Former Gov. Mitch Daniels released a statement Thursday saying he would not enter the race and would remain at Purdue University.

Whoever emerges as the party’s nominee will take on Democrat John Gregg, who lost to Pence in the 2012. Gregg weighed in with a statement Friday:

“This campaign has always been about Indiana’s future and who is best equipped to clean up the mess Mike Pence made. I look forward to hearing from my opponents if they’ll continue his damaging policies or join me working to correct them. In the meantime, I’ll continue outlining my plans for creating and retaining high-paying jobs, strengthening schools, fixing long neglected infrastructure, combating the state’s drug epidemic and all the other very real challenges facing Hoosiers which have taken a back seat to Mike Pence’s personal ambition and extreme ideologies for so long.”

As for the process to replace Pence, here’s how it will work. The Republican State Committee will have 30 days to choose his replacement.

The state committee includes two members from each of the nine congressional districts and four officers (state chairman, state vice chair, state party secretary and state party treasurer). With 22 members, 12 votes are required to win.

The state committee must give 10 days’ written notice of a meeting by first class mail to the persons eligible to vote at the state committee meeting and also file a copy of the meeting notice no later than noon 10 days before meeting with the Election Division.

Those interested in taking Pence’s place on the ballot must file a declaration of candidacy with both the chairman of the meeting and the Election Division at least 72 hours before the time set for the committee meeting.

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