Ex-Pence economic official eyes 2024 Indiana governor bid

INDIANAPOLIS — A Fort Wayne businessman who was a top official in former Gov. Mike Pence’s administration is getting an early jump on running for governor in the 2024 election.

Eric Doden announced Thursday he was forming a committee for a Republican campaign for governor. Doden said in a statement that he was using the early campaign start to embark on what he called a “listening tour” across all 92 Indiana counties.

Several top Republicans have been mentioned as possible candidates to replace GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb, who can’t seek re-election again because of term limits.

Doden is a senior executive with construction development companies and a private equity investment firm. He’s a former CEO of the Greater Fort Wayne Inc. business organization and was appointed by Pence in 2013 as president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., a position he held until stepping down in 2015.

Doden unsuccessful sought the Republican nomination for Fort Wayne mayor in 2011.

He says he wants to grow Indiana’s Main Street program, enable successful schools, improve the health care system and create new economic opportunities for the state.