Brad Chambers, Candidate For Governor, Says He’s ‘Passionate’ About Indiana

April 15, 2024 at 9:28 p.m.
Brad Chambers, candidate for Indiana governor, speaks Monday during a continuation of the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce’s Republican governor candidate forum, in partnership with OrthoWorx. Pictured (L to R) are Rob Parker, Chamber president and CEO, and Chambers. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
Brad Chambers, candidate for Indiana governor, speaks Monday during a continuation of the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce’s Republican governor candidate forum, in partnership with OrthoWorx. Pictured (L to R) are Rob Parker, Chamber president and CEO, and Chambers. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union

By DAVID L. SLONE Managing Editor

In his campaign to be Indiana’s next governor, Brad Chambers touts himself as an outsider who has a passion for the state.
Monday, as a continuation of the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce’s Republican governor candidate forum, in partnership with OrthoWorx, Chambers answered about a dozen questions posed by Chamber President and CEO Rob Parker that ranged from education to transportation infrastructure. The forum, open to the public, took place at the Zimmer Biomet Center Lake Pavilion for nearly an hour.
Governor candidates Curtis Hill, Eric Doden and Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch participated in a candidate forum March 25.
“I’m passionate about the mission, I’m passionate about Indiana and I believe there’s a better future out there for us but you got to go get it,” Chambers said in introducing himself. He said fresh eyes are needed at this time in Indiana’s history “to go bring that future, to keep our kids and grandkids here, to grow our economy, to shrink government and to fix problems, and I think it takes a real serious problem-solver - a business person problem-solver, CEO, not a career politician. I’m a career problem-solver, I’m a career job creator.”
In his 59 years of life, Chambers said running for political office, let alone the governor’s office, was never on his to-do list. “But here I am and I’m passionate about it,” he stated.
Parker asked Chambers what he would want to accomplish in the first 90 days in office as governor and what would be his top three priorities as he seems them now.
As he goes around the state talking to voters and taxpayers, Chambers said he’s hearing from them that there’s a property tax jump. People don’t understand the property assessments and property taxes are “jumping faster than ever before and we need to get our arms around our property tax challenges.”
He said education and the workforce are other challenges.
“I’m focused on making sure third-graders can read going into fourth grade. It’s unbelieveable to me in 2024 that in the state of Indiana we have a literacy problem, and we do. We have a literacy problem, we have an absentee problem in education and we need to get our hands on that because that third-grader will be four times more likely to drop out of school if they can’t read well coming out of third grade,” Chambers said, adding education is “fundamental to our future growth, it’s fundamental to GDP growth.”
Along with education and the property tax issues, Chambers said the state needs to grow housing.
“There’s a lot of people who want to move here and housing is a challenge. Our state housing agency hasn’t been modernized in a decade,” he said.
Indiana also needs to make sure its police, fire and first responders have the resources they need, he said.
“Some of my competitors are talking about cutting the state income tax. I just don’t believe that’s doable. I think that’s a political talking point.”
As governor, Chambers was asked how he would implement change to see third-graders’ scores improve in literacy.
“The legislature started that. Kids were getting waived through, and so the legislature started that and I don’t know that it’s completely done, but I think the legislature should be a part of that solution. So kids were getting waived through and that’s where you’re getting 20 to 25%,” he responded. “So I think we need to finish the job that they’re doing.”
He said kids are learning differently today so the educational system is very “backward looking. I believe that we can build a modern economy with a modern education system, so we need to experiment with smaller class sizes. A smaller school approach. More individualized for kids. Parents have to be front and center in this educational train. Absolutely have to be. Choice is still important. We’ve got to make sure that choice is generating the results to educate kids. So, again, it’s our biggest challenge but our biggest opportunity.”
Asked about initiatives for transportation infrastructure across the state, and how he intends to prioritize the funds available - and specifically if he supported converting U.S. 30 into a interstate-grade highway from U.S. 49 to the Ohio state line - Chambers said he does.
He said it’s been more than 20 years since a business outsider sat in the governor’s office, referring to Mitch Daniels. “So I think it’s time for that again. I think we need to look at all agencies, but specifically around INDOT.”
The first thing he’d do as governor would be to prioritize economic development projects.
“Instead of a project being logged in and work its way up the priority list for funding, I would prioritize those things. When you spend a dollar you get two dollars back in economic development. That’s going to grow the economy quicker, too,” Chambers said.
On U.S. 30 specifically, he said, “I think there’s a real opportunity and I’ve worked with lots of folks in this community and dreamed about this between at least Fort Wayne and Warsaw. That is an economic development opportunity if there ever was one. So why is it taking so long? Let’s prioritize that.”
On curbing the fentanyl epidemic in Indiana, Chambers said it’s a tragedy of epic proportions and it’s because of the border problem.
“But it’s now a state issue. The failed border policies have now become a state problem because of fentanyl, because of illegal immigration ending up in our states,” Chambers said. “... As a non-politician, as a business guy, we’ve been rolling out policies as part of this campaign. We’ve rolled out policies for the areas where we believe voters want to hear.”
One of those policies is the Protect & Serve Public Safety Plan.
“And to address the fentanyl challenge, there’s smaller communities that just don’t have the resources to do this, to address it. It’s everywhere, so let’s create a multi-disciplinary task force with many different jurisdictions statewide to give support to smaller communities, to make sure they’re well-resourced for this fentanyl scourge,” he said.
The state also needs to address concerns with jail bail and mental health.
“I don’t think Indiana’s done a great job in the last 30-40 years on mental health. I think we pulled tons of resources out of mental health, and guess what? Our police officers are now mental health professionals. Our firefighters are EMT. Our jail wardens are mental health professionals now. Our emergency room attendants are mental health professionals,” he said.
Chambers is in support of creating behavior health centers to provide support with dedicated mental health behavioral staff to help with the increase in mental health challenges.
He also received questions on housing, economic development, child care, DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) and health care.
His last question though was why was he the best candidate to be governor.
“I’m passionate about the state, number one. This is a service job, this isn’t a career change,” he said. “... I’m passionate about we can do better. When you have a great asset, you should maximize its potential. So I say Indiana is great, but it can be even better.”

In his campaign to be Indiana’s next governor, Brad Chambers touts himself as an outsider who has a passion for the state.
Monday, as a continuation of the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce’s Republican governor candidate forum, in partnership with OrthoWorx, Chambers answered about a dozen questions posed by Chamber President and CEO Rob Parker that ranged from education to transportation infrastructure. The forum, open to the public, took place at the Zimmer Biomet Center Lake Pavilion for nearly an hour.
Governor candidates Curtis Hill, Eric Doden and Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch participated in a candidate forum March 25.
“I’m passionate about the mission, I’m passionate about Indiana and I believe there’s a better future out there for us but you got to go get it,” Chambers said in introducing himself. He said fresh eyes are needed at this time in Indiana’s history “to go bring that future, to keep our kids and grandkids here, to grow our economy, to shrink government and to fix problems, and I think it takes a real serious problem-solver - a business person problem-solver, CEO, not a career politician. I’m a career problem-solver, I’m a career job creator.”
In his 59 years of life, Chambers said running for political office, let alone the governor’s office, was never on his to-do list. “But here I am and I’m passionate about it,” he stated.
Parker asked Chambers what he would want to accomplish in the first 90 days in office as governor and what would be his top three priorities as he seems them now.
As he goes around the state talking to voters and taxpayers, Chambers said he’s hearing from them that there’s a property tax jump. People don’t understand the property assessments and property taxes are “jumping faster than ever before and we need to get our arms around our property tax challenges.”
He said education and the workforce are other challenges.
“I’m focused on making sure third-graders can read going into fourth grade. It’s unbelieveable to me in 2024 that in the state of Indiana we have a literacy problem, and we do. We have a literacy problem, we have an absentee problem in education and we need to get our hands on that because that third-grader will be four times more likely to drop out of school if they can’t read well coming out of third grade,” Chambers said, adding education is “fundamental to our future growth, it’s fundamental to GDP growth.”
Along with education and the property tax issues, Chambers said the state needs to grow housing.
“There’s a lot of people who want to move here and housing is a challenge. Our state housing agency hasn’t been modernized in a decade,” he said.
Indiana also needs to make sure its police, fire and first responders have the resources they need, he said.
“Some of my competitors are talking about cutting the state income tax. I just don’t believe that’s doable. I think that’s a political talking point.”
As governor, Chambers was asked how he would implement change to see third-graders’ scores improve in literacy.
“The legislature started that. Kids were getting waived through, and so the legislature started that and I don’t know that it’s completely done, but I think the legislature should be a part of that solution. So kids were getting waived through and that’s where you’re getting 20 to 25%,” he responded. “So I think we need to finish the job that they’re doing.”
He said kids are learning differently today so the educational system is very “backward looking. I believe that we can build a modern economy with a modern education system, so we need to experiment with smaller class sizes. A smaller school approach. More individualized for kids. Parents have to be front and center in this educational train. Absolutely have to be. Choice is still important. We’ve got to make sure that choice is generating the results to educate kids. So, again, it’s our biggest challenge but our biggest opportunity.”
Asked about initiatives for transportation infrastructure across the state, and how he intends to prioritize the funds available - and specifically if he supported converting U.S. 30 into a interstate-grade highway from U.S. 49 to the Ohio state line - Chambers said he does.
He said it’s been more than 20 years since a business outsider sat in the governor’s office, referring to Mitch Daniels. “So I think it’s time for that again. I think we need to look at all agencies, but specifically around INDOT.”
The first thing he’d do as governor would be to prioritize economic development projects.
“Instead of a project being logged in and work its way up the priority list for funding, I would prioritize those things. When you spend a dollar you get two dollars back in economic development. That’s going to grow the economy quicker, too,” Chambers said.
On U.S. 30 specifically, he said, “I think there’s a real opportunity and I’ve worked with lots of folks in this community and dreamed about this between at least Fort Wayne and Warsaw. That is an economic development opportunity if there ever was one. So why is it taking so long? Let’s prioritize that.”
On curbing the fentanyl epidemic in Indiana, Chambers said it’s a tragedy of epic proportions and it’s because of the border problem.
“But it’s now a state issue. The failed border policies have now become a state problem because of fentanyl, because of illegal immigration ending up in our states,” Chambers said. “... As a non-politician, as a business guy, we’ve been rolling out policies as part of this campaign. We’ve rolled out policies for the areas where we believe voters want to hear.”
One of those policies is the Protect & Serve Public Safety Plan.
“And to address the fentanyl challenge, there’s smaller communities that just don’t have the resources to do this, to address it. It’s everywhere, so let’s create a multi-disciplinary task force with many different jurisdictions statewide to give support to smaller communities, to make sure they’re well-resourced for this fentanyl scourge,” he said.
The state also needs to address concerns with jail bail and mental health.
“I don’t think Indiana’s done a great job in the last 30-40 years on mental health. I think we pulled tons of resources out of mental health, and guess what? Our police officers are now mental health professionals. Our firefighters are EMT. Our jail wardens are mental health professionals now. Our emergency room attendants are mental health professionals,” he said.
Chambers is in support of creating behavior health centers to provide support with dedicated mental health behavioral staff to help with the increase in mental health challenges.
He also received questions on housing, economic development, child care, DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) and health care.
His last question though was why was he the best candidate to be governor.
“I’m passionate about the state, number one. This is a service job, this isn’t a career change,” he said. “... I’m passionate about we can do better. When you have a great asset, you should maximize its potential. So I say Indiana is great, but it can be even better.”

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