Bob Thomas considers run for governor

(WISH photo)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – From running big businesses to running the state, Bob Thomas said Wednesday that he’s considering a bid for governor.

Thomas, who owns five car dealerships in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, said he wants to wind down his career by serving the people of Indiana in an elected office.

“We need to reinvent state government. That’s why I’m interested in the governorship first,” Thomas said.

A lot of people thought Thomas would announce he’s going to join the third congressional district race.

Thomas had also originally intended on running in that primary, but a few weeks ago, he started looking at the governor’s race too.

“I don’t think there’s any question that we need new leadership in Indiana. It’s been a disaster for the last three years. Things aren’t happening and if we don’t get something done soon, things will just get worse,” Thomas said. “If Mike Pence decides to stay in the race, I will stay in the race and run against him.”

While Thomas is considering a bid for governor, he isn’t ruling out the third district either. The seat is open now that Congressman Marlin Stutzman announced he’s running for senate. Thomas already ran for that seat in 2010 against then incumbent Mark Souder.

Thomas said his heart is still in the third district, but the 64-year-old with degrees from Princeton and Harvard said his business background will be more impactful in the governor’s office.

“A governor with the right people, the right talent, the right agenda can make a lot of difference in the lives of the people in Indiana and that’s the most important thing for me,” he said. “I’d be the type of person Indiana needs: a businessman who knows how to run things.”

If Pence doesn’t seek re-election and the primary looks like it will be too crowded, Thomas said he might decide to run again in the third district instead.

“My eyes are on the governor’s race. I have to look at that and size up what’s out there. I’ve been encouraged by a lot of people to look at that,” he said.

Thomas said he’d made a decision about running for governor by the end of June. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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