Inform, Entertain, Inspire
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Crouch says Republicans need 'different kind of candidate' in governor's race

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch said if Republicans want to hold on to the governor’s office, they’ll need a “different kind of candidate.”

And Crouch, who announced her gubernatorial run this week, said she is that candidate.

The southern Indiana native noted that no one political party has controlled the governor's office for 20 consecutive years in the state's history – and 2024 will mark two decades of Republican governors.

If her name appears on the primary ballot, she’ll have already made history – the first woman to run for Indiana governor in a Republican primary. And if she wins the gubernatorial race, she’d be the Hoosier State’s first woman governor.

But Crouch said gender isn’t an issue in her campaign.

“For me, I don’t see myself as, you know, ‘I’m a female candidate’ or ‘I’m a female officeholder,'" Crouch said. "I am a woman; I’m proud of that. But I see myself more as someone who is trying to get things done for Hoosiers.”

Crouch said her vision for the state is improving quality of life. She said doing so builds on the existing “economic foundation” by emphasizing measures that Crouch said haven’t been focused on.

“And that would be mental illness and addiction and, of course, our public health,” Crouch said.

Both those issues are expected to be major talking points in the upcoming legislative session.

READ MORE: Senate GOP leader doubtful on fully funding Public Health Commission recommendation

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues.

As lieutenant governor, Crouch is inextricably tied with Gov. Eric Holcomb – who has drawn the ire of some conservatives over the past few years, particularly tied to his COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

That anger manifested itself most acutely in the 2022 Indiana Republican Party convention, where Diego Morales rode that anti-establishment wave to an upset victory over incumbent Secretary of State Holli Sullivan.

Crouch dismissed the idea that her service in the Holcomb administration will be a weight around her neck in the GOP primary – while also subtly putting some room between her and the governor.

"Like any relationship, we don't agree on everything. But I'm very respectful of the role that I'm in," Crouch said. "I have a record. And that record is conservative."

Crouch is in a GOP primary race against U.S. Sen. Mike Braun(R-Ind.) and Fort Wayne businessman Eric Doden. Both those men have shown the ability to put sizable amounts of their own and family money into political campaigns. Crouch said that's something she cannot and will not do.

"If I cannot convince Hoosiers that I'm a good investment for them and for the state of Indiana, then I don't deserve to win," Crouch said.

Crouch said she'll end the year with about $3 million in her campaign account. Doden, who's been in the race since last May, has already compiled more than $2 million. And Braun has about $1 million in his U.S. Senate campaign account.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Copyright 2022 IPB News. To see more, visit .

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.