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Hershman grew up on a farm in Jasper County, Indiana, which he still manages. After graduating from Purdue University with a degree in Political Science, Brandt took a job working in the White House. In 1991, a family friend, Steve Buyer, asked for help in his run for Congress. After winning in 1992, Brandt became the district operations director for Buyer.
Hershman was first elected to the Indiana Senate in 2000 and was re-elected in 2004 and 2008. He serves as the Majority Floor Leader and represents Senate District 7, which includes parts of White, Tippecanoe, Jasper, Clinton, Carroll and Boone counties.
Hershman is the senate majority floor leader and chairman of the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee. He also serves on the State Budget Committee. He co-authored the Major Moves transportation bill and has won numerous awards for his work with telecommunication deregulation and small business in Indiana.
On February 17, 2010, Senator Hershman filed paperwork to run for Indiana's 4th Congressional District. He finished second to Todd Rokita in the 2010 primary election; Rokita went on to win the November general election with 74 percent of the vote.