INDIANAPOLIS – Fort Wayne native Tim Berry will be the next Indiana Republican Party chairman.
Gov. Mike Pence announced his selection Wednesday, though the state committee still has to officially vote.
Berry is currently in his second term as state auditor, and also served two terms as state treasurer. Before that he served as Allen County treasurer.
“I think the selection is a rock solid choice for Governor Pence and the Indiana Republican Party,” said Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne.
“I’ve known Tim Berry for 25 years and he’s extremely competent, well-spoken and understands the Indiana political landscape as well as anyone I know. He’ll be an excellent chairman.”
Berry will replace Eric Holcomb, who announced his resignation a few weeks ago.
Pence said in a letter to the state committee that Berry “knows what it takes to run successful campaigns in Indiana. Tim is a cheerful leader who is well known throughout the state to Hoosier Republicans and will help our party grow as we work towards our goal of making Indiana ‘the State that Works.’”
Berry has reduced spending in his state offices, implemented the state’s first up-to-the-minute financial system, led nationally recognized efforts for Indiana’s wireless 911 technology and pushed tax credits for Indiana’s college savings plan.
His resignation from the auditor’s office means Pence will also name his replacement there.
Pence also tapped Misty Dees Hollis of Richmond as the party’s vice chairman and Kyle Robertson of Indianapolis as executive director. Robertson served as Pence's campaign manager.
Allen County GOP Chairman Steve Shine applauded the move, saying it adds to the pride factor of the county to have the state party chairman hail from there. Berry grew up in Fort Wayne but has lived in Indianapolis since serving in state office.
“I can’t think of a better person to bring people together and to have a strong party,” Shine said. “He is a very warm individual who can connect with just about everybody he comes in contact with.”
One area that might be new to Berry is partisan sniping. During his time in office he has maintained a lower profile, but as chairman he will be called on at times to attack the Democratic Party or its candidates.
Shine said Berry is “quite capable of showing the dichotomy and the difference between political positions without being nasty about it. People will listen to him because of his credibility.”