Eric Holcomb

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Eric Holcomb
Governor Eric Holcomb 2018 State of the State Address (cropped).jpg
51st Governor of Indiana
Assumed office
January 9, 2017
LieutenantSuzanne Crouch
Preceded byMike Pence
51st Lieutenant Governor of Indiana
In office
March 3, 2016 – January 9, 2017
GovernorMike Pence
Preceded bySue Ellspermann
Succeeded bySuzanne Crouch
Chair of the Indiana Republican Party
In office
Preceded byJ. Murray Clark
Succeeded byTim Berry
Personal details
Eric Joseph Holcomb

(1968-05-02) May 2, 1968 (age 51)
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Janet Holcomb
ResidenceGovernor's Residence
EducationHanover College (BA)
WebsiteGovernment website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1990–1996

Eric Joseph Holcomb (born May 2, 1968)[1] is an American politician serving as the 51st governor of Indiana since January 2017. From March 2016 to January 2017 he was the 51st lieutenant governor of Indiana under Governor Mike Pence, now the 48th vice president of the United States. Holcomb was nominated to fill the remainder of Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann's term after Ellspermann resigned on March 2, 2016, to become president of Ivy Tech Community College.[2] A member of the Republican Party, Holcomb won the 2016 election for Governor of Indiana over Democratic nominee John R. Gregg.

Early life and education[edit]

Holcomb was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He graduated from Pike High School in Indianapolis, Indiana,[3] and in 1990 from Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana. While at Hanover, he joined the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta[4] and served as chapter president. Holcomb served in the United States Navy for six years as an intelligence officer,[5] stationed in Jacksonville, Florida, and in Lisbon, Portugal.[6] He received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Anderson University on May 11, 2019.[7]

Early political career[edit]

Holcomb began working for John Hostettler, a member of the United States House of Representatives, in 1997.[8] In 2000, Holcomb ran for the Indiana House of Representatives against John Frenz, but was defeated.[3]

From 2003 to 2011, Holcomb served as an advisor to Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, eventually rising to the role of Deputy Chief of Staff,[9][10][11] and served as campaign manager for Daniels's 2008 gubernatorial campaign. He became Chairman of the Indiana Republican Party in 2010.[6] In 2013, he resigned to become the state Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Dan Coats.[12][13] In March 2015 Coats announced that he would not run for reelection to the Senate in the 2016 election, and Holcomb announced his intention to run.[14] In February 2016, Holcomb withdrew from the Senate race.[15][16]

Lieutenant Governor of Indiana[edit]

After Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann announced her resignation, Governor Mike Pence chose Holcomb to succeed her and to be his running mate in the 2016 gubernatorial election.[17] Holcomb was sworn in as lieutenant governor on March 3, 2016.[18]

Governor of Indiana[edit]

2016 election[edit]

Holcomb at a gubernatorial debate

After Pence withdrew from the gubernatorial race to be Donald Trump's running mate in the 2016 presidential election, Holcomb ended his candidacy for lieutenant governor in order to seek the gubernatorial nomination.[19] The Indiana State Republican Committee selected Holcomb to replace Pence as its gubernatorial nominee.[20] Holcomb defeated the Democratic nominee, former Indiana House Speaker John R. Gregg, 51.4% to 45.4%.[21]


Holcomb was sworn into office on January 9, 2017.[22] In his first month in office, he focused on the five parts of his "Next Level" Agenda: cultivating a strong and diverse economy by growing Indiana as a magnet for jobs, creating a 20-year plan to fund roads and bridges, developing a 21st-century skilled and ready workforce, attacking the drug epidemic, and delivering great government service. In his first State of the State address, Holcomb emphasized the need to fix state roads, address the drug epidemic, and train workers.[23]

In April 2017, the Indiana legislature approved Holcomb's request for higher fuel taxes and BMV registration fees to fund infrastructure spending (primarily on road maintenance and construction). The law came into effect on July 1, 2017, and is projected to raise on average $1.2 billion per year through 2024 for infrastructure spending.[24]

In the first quarter of 2019, the National Journal reported Holcomb's reelection faced serious challenges. It ranked him number 10 on its endangered list, writing "Holcomb is facing potential match-ups with former state health commissioner Woody Myers and state Senator Eddie Melton."[25] By the end of the second quarter, his approval rating had risen to 50%.[26]

In November 2019, the Center for Investigative Reporting uncovered that Governor Holcomb had personally pressured an Indiana OSHA investigator to drop a worker fatality case against Amazon so that Indianapolis could have a better shot at being the home of Amazon's Headquarters 2.0. The Governor's office denied the allegations, or that he had even attended the meeting with the OHSA commissioner and investigator.[27] Holcomb also stated that the accusations against him would pose a threat to Indiana's "positive business climate" and demanded they be retracted.[28] Regardless of whether Holcomb was directly involved, the citations against Amazon's fulfillment center were indeed eventually dropped by OSHA and the case was reclassified as one of "employee misconduct" rather than a shortfall in training and safety procedures.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Holcomb's wife, Janet, runs a family business in Madison County, Indiana.[29] They have no children only a miniature schnauzer, Henry Holcomb, who is known as the "First Dog of Indiana".[30]


  1. ^ "Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb (R-Indiana) biography". Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  2. ^ Slodysko, Bryan (February 18, 2016). "Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann to resign March 2 in expected move". The Indianapolis Star. The Associated Press. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Cook, Tony; Schneider, Chelsea. "Meet the new lieutenant governor, Eric Holcomb". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  4. ^ "Phi Gamma Delta". Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  5. ^ "Eric Holcomb '90 elected Indiana's governor". Hanover College. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Kellems drops bid for state GOP chair". Madison Courier. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  7. ^ "AU Announces Speakers and Honorees for 2019 Graduation". Anderson University. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  8. ^ "Brazil Times: Local News: Holcomb to serve as congressman's district director (02/18/03)". Archived from the original on February 15, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  9. ^ Press, The Associated (January 8, 2017). "A look at Indiana Gov.-elect Eric Holcomb". AP NEWS. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  10. ^, Dude Solutions, Inc. "".
  11. ^ "Tully: Can Eric Holcomb win the GOP Senate nomination?". Indianapolis Star. July 14, 2015. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  12. ^ "Pence ally Cardwell replacing Berry as Indiana GOP chair". Indianapolis Star. March 11, 2015. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  13. ^ "Coats Announces Eric Holcomb to Serve as State Chief of Staff". June 21, 2013. Archived from the original on December 3, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  14. ^ Joseph, Cameron (March 26, 2015). "Chief of staff launches Senate bid for Coats's seat". The Hill. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  15. ^ "Eric Holcomb drops out of Indiana senate race". WRTV. February 8, 2016. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  16. ^ "Holcomb withdraws from U.S. Senate race". Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  17. ^ Peterson, Mark. "Indiana Lt. Governor Ellsperman plans to resign". WNDU-TV. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  18. ^ "Eric Holcomb sworn in as lieutenant governor". FOX59. Associated Press. March 3, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  19. ^ Briggs, James; Eason, Brian; Duan, Crystal (July 16, 2016). "Holcomb, Brooks, Rokita run for governor as Pence joins Trump". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  20. ^ "Indiana GOP picks Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb to replace Mike Pence on 2016 ballot". Politico. July 26, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  21. ^ "Indiana Governor Results Eric Holcomb Wins". New York Times. December 8, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  22. ^ Schneider, Chelsea; Lange, Kaitlin L.; Mack, Justin L. (January 9, 2017). "Holcomb sworn in as Indiana's 51st governor". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  23. ^ Schneider, Chelsea; Lange, Kaitlin L. (January 17, 2017). "Holcomb: Indiana will act with 'boldness and courage'". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  24. ^ Kramer, BIll. "Indiana Passes 10-Cents-Per-Gallon Gas Tax Increase". MultiState Insider. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  25. ^ Bevin, Holcomb seats could switch parties in the upcoming election and in 2020, says National Journal, WHAS-TV, Jeff Burnett, July 25, 2019. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  26. ^ Morning Consult Governor ratings, Morning Consult. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  27. ^ a b Evans, Will. "Amazon's internal injury records expose the true toll of its relentless drive for speed". Reveal News. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  28. ^ Herron, Arrika (November 29, 2019). "Gov. Holcomb demands correction, retraction of Reveal investigation published in IndyStar". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  29. ^ Bavender, Chris (March 26, 2015). "Republican Eric Holcomb makes US Senate run official". Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  30. ^ McKinney, Matt. "VIDEO: Henry, Indiana's First Dog, stops by RTV6". RTV6. Retrieved January 28, 2018.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Sue Ellspermann
Lieutenant Governor of Indiana
Succeeded by
Suzanne Crouch
Preceded by
Mike Pence
Governor of Indiana
Party political offices
Preceded by
Murray Clark
Chair of the Indiana Republican Party
Succeeded by
Tim Berry
Preceded by
Mike Pence
Republican nominee for Governor of Indiana
Most recent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Pence
as Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within Indiana
Succeeded by
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise Nancy Pelosi
as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Bel Edwards
as Governor of Louisiana
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside Indiana
Succeeded by
Tate Reeves
as Governor of Mississippi