INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Eric Holcomb withdrew from the U.S. Senate race Monday.
It means there are now just two candidates in the running for the GOP nomination, Marlin Stuzman and Todd Young.
Holcomb was the first candidate to enter the Senate race but his was a long shot bid from the outset. The former state GOP Chairman had trouble raising money and on Monday filed the paperwork to have his name removed from the May primary ballot.
Holcomb issued a statement saying he’s been called to serve the state in a different capacity. He said he will announce soon how he will serve the state in the years to come. There is speculation that he could become Lieutenant Governor and a running mate for Mike Pence.
“Today I withdrew my name as a candidate for the United States Senate as Janet and I believe we have been called to serve our beloved state in a different capacity. It has been a tremendous honor to serve Hoosiers as a member of the staffs of Governor Mitch Daniels, Senator Dan Coats and as Chairman of the Indiana Republican Party.”
“Janet and I are grateful for the tremendous support we received from all over the State of Indiana during our campaign. With more people working today than ever before in our state’s history and record investments in transportation and education, I couldn’t be more excited for all that Hoosiers have accomplished and I look forward to announcing soon how I will serve our state in the years to come.”
GOP front runner, Todd Young, was in Fort Wayne where he said he had not yet talked to Holcomb.
“But I’ll say he’s added a whole lot to this race talking about solutions and issues,” said Young. “He has a real heart for public service. I know he’ll continue to serve our state and our country in some fashion.”
The other remaining candidate, Stuzman, wasn’t aware of Holcomb’s withdraw.
“It was definitely a surprise,” said Stutzman. “We were in Logansport last night at a Lincoln Day dinner and didn’t sense anything last night from that, so, you never know in politics.”
The winner of the GOP primary will face Democrat Baron Hill in November.
The former Gov. Mitch Daniels aide said he has his wife “believe we have been called to serve our beloved state in a different capacity.”
Senator Dan Coats also released a statement following Holcomb’s choice to withdraw.
“Throughout his career, Eric Holcomb has served our state and country with distinction in a variety of roles. Eric is a consistent conservative whose experience and leadership skills have helped make Indiana the model of success it is today. In whatever role is next for Eric, I am confident that he will continue to serve Hoosiers effectively and be a strong asset for our state.”