Rep. Brooks praises ACS career campus

U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, standing right, asks a question of Advanced Manufacturing instructor Joanne LaBounty as students Brandon Justice, a junior, and Khalil Wilson, senior, program this robot to do different tasks at the ACS District 26 Career Campus.

ANDERSON – Republican Susan Brooks, Madison County’s representative in the U.S. House, has announced she will not seek the party’s nomination to run for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2016.

Last month, incumbent Republican Dan Coats announced he would not seek re-election to another term in the Senate. Brooks was one of several names that immediately surfaced as a possible candidate for the seat.

Brooks was first elected to Congress in 2012 and won re-election in 2014.

Eric Holcomb, former Republican Party state chairman and an aide to Coats, has announced his candidacy. Also considering entering the 2016 primary are Rep. Marlin Stutzman, 3rd District; Rep. Todd Rokita, 4th District; and Rep. Todd Young, 9th District.

There are no announced Democratic Party candidates for the 2016 Senate race.

Russ Willis, chairman of the Madison County Republican Party, said Holcomb contacted him about an endorsement in 2016. Willis said he is not making an endorsement at this time.

He was not surprised by Brooks' decision not to seek the senatorial nomination.

“She enjoys working and serving this district,” Willis said. “I’m glad she made that decision.”

Willis said it was Brooks' decision to make.

"I am grateful to represent the 5th District of Indiana in the United States House of Representatives,” Brooks said Monday in a press release. “It is a responsibility and mission that I appreciate more each day. The opportunity I have to lead and serve is one I value deeply. This is a critical time in the life of our nation, and I am optimistic about my ability to help meet the challenges we face.”

Brooks said she determined the best way to have a positive impact for Indiana is to continue the work started in the 5th District, along with her position on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Select Committee on Benghazi.

“Running for statewide office is something I had not considered before Sen. Coats’ announcement last month, but the encouragement I received was very humbling,” Brooks said. "Friends and supporters alike have been very kind sharing their thoughts on the race and what they will be looking for in our Republican nominee.”

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.

​Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide or call 640-4863.

Senior Reporter covering Anderson and Madison County government, politics and auto racing for The Herald Bulletin. Has been working as a journalist in central Indiana since 1977.