FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — After ending weeks of speculation and launching his campaign for governor in August, Republican Brad Chambers made his first Fort Wayne media stop with WANE 15 Tuesday.

“I’m optimistic about Indiana’s future,” said the former Indiana Secretary of Commerce. Chambers’ two-year term as head of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) ended in early August.

Chambers said the number one job of the governor is to grow the economy to improve Hoosiers’ quality of life.

“A growing economy generates revenue and resources that can then be reinvested to address challenges, whether it’s mental health or fentanyl or education or public safety,” he explained.

Chambers, who founded and grew Buckingham Companies into a real estate company with 400 employees and a portfolio exceeding $3 billion in holdings, donated $5 million to his own campaign.

“I think it shows incredible investment in my belief that Indiana is a great product,” he said, adding he waited to enter the race to complete his term at the IEDC and to be sure he could “make a difference.”

Other Republican candidates include:

  • Curtis Hill, a former Indiana Attorney General;
  • Mike Braun, a current U.S. Senator for Indiana;
  • Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s current lieutenant governor;
  • Eric Doden, Fort Wayne businessman and former president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation;
  • Jamie Reitenour

In the Democratic primary, Jennifer McCormick, the former superintendent of public instruction for Indiana, and Bob Kern have announced their respective intentions to run for governor. Donald Rainwater, a Libertarian, has also announced his intention to run.

Indiana’s primary election day is May 7, 2024.

See the full interview below.