Southern Indiana higher education leader Andrew Takami has announced a U.S. Senate bid for Sen. Joe Donnelly’s seat in 2018.

Takami, 37, is the director of Purdue Polytechnic New Albany, an arm of Purdue University.

He announced his run through a news release Tuesday but will hold a more formal kickoff April 20 at The Barn in Floyds Knobs.

The Floyds Knobs Republican is the third Hoosier to announce his candidacy for Senate, following Kokomo attorney Mark Hurt and Carmel businessman Terry Henderson. He could face a more crowded field, as U.S. Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita have been rumored to run for the seat as well.

Donnelly has already launched his re-election campaign, as Republican operatives across the country have identified Senate seats to flip in next year’s midterm elections. Donnelly is Indiana’s only statewide Democrat representative.

The first-term senator announced Monday he raised $1.32 million in the most recent fundraising quarter to total more than $2.5 million on hand — “nearly $1 million m ore than any of the Republicans rumored to be running for Senate next year,” a release stated.

Takami stated he hopes to continue to bring Midwestern values to Washington D.C.

“As a Hoosier and American, I don’t understand how our nation has lost sense of our most basic values. More than just conservatives like me feel this demise in both politics and beyond,” Takami stated in a news release. “Whether you’re a CEO of a Fortune-500 company, a mother working two jobs to make ends meet or a college student trying to finance their future, this echo of loss reverberates to every corner of our lives. It has implications that we have yet to comprehend.”

Takami sees the midterm elections as a way to “make new inroads to support a stronger conservative agenda.”

Before his tenure as Purdue Polytechnic director began four years ago, Takami served as executive director of College Advancement at Ivy Tech Community College Southern Indiana and manager of Alumni Affairs and Special Events at Indiana University Southeast. He holds a Master’s Degree from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis in Philanthropic Studies and Nonprofit Management and a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University Southeast in Speech Communication.

 

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