Paper of Wabash: U.S. Senate candidate visits Wabash

Mark Hurt, a Kokomo-based lawyer and former Wabash High School teacher, is running as a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

Hurt recently stopped by Wabash for a meeting with the Indiana Policy Foundation.

However, prior to the meeting, the candidate met with The Paper of Wabash County to discuss why he’s running, his stances and how he would represent Indiana on the U.S. Senate if elected.

A Summitville native, Hurt attended Madison Grant High School and graduated from Taylor University with a bachelor’s in teaching and coaching in 1985.

Following graduation, he took on a position at Wabash High School and temporarily replaced educator Terri Denney as a government teacher before pursuing a master’s degree from Baylor University in political science, specializing in international relations.

After graduating from Baylor, Hurt worked in Washington, D.C., as a legislative assistant and co-legislative director for U.S. Rep. Fred Grandy from Iowa. Later he served as a senior policy analyst and legislative assistant for Sen. Dan Coats.

Hurt eventually left Washington and became Michigan Gov. John Engler’s healthcare policy advisor before attending the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University.

In 1998, Hurt returned to Indiana to practice law, which he has continued since.

“I have about 10 years in government (experience) at federal and state level,” Hurt said. “So one of the things I’m saying is that I’m uniquely qualified to represent the people as a United States Senator because of the breadth and depth of my legislative experience. I was very active in writing laws and dealing with committees for work, working with the Bush administration.

“But then also none of the other candidates have 20 years of what I really call small business experience. So I feel like I’ve worked under the regulations and the taxes in the system that’s imposed on those that are really out there trying to make a living.”

By having that experience, Hurt said he believes he is more in-tune with Indiana’s residents.

“I support President (Donald) Trump’s tax cuts, but the cuts are weighted more heavily for corporate versus small business,” he said. “I think it’s easy to lose touch with the sweat equity, everything that goes into running and making a small business.”

He later added, “I think my experience being in the private sector, being in business for 20 years outside of the beltway, I think that helps me have a more mature, better understanding of what people are going through.”

He told The Paper of Wabash County he decided to run for U.S. Senate candidate following Sen. Joe Donnelley’s decisions to vote in favor of President Barack Obama’s Iran Nuclear deal and gun control among others.

On the campaign front, Hurt is pro-life and he plans to vote against gun control “in any form.” He wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” and replace it with free market solutions and expansion of competition. Hurt is also in favor of implementing term limits.

At the U.S. Senate, Hurt said he hopes to be a voice for the people “so you’re not paid off by off by special interests.”

He said he also wants to be “somebody that’s more real.”

“Living here, as I said, raising a family here, going to church here and you run the business here, you hope then to explain those life experiences so that their voices are heard,” he said, “and really push forward the idea of cutting the debt and getting the government out of many areas of our lives.”

Other candidates vying for the Indiana election for U.S. Senate include Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly; Democrat candidates Bill Bowser and Martin Del Rio; Republican candidates Mike Braun, Terry Henderson, Luke Messer, Todd Rokita, Kiel Stone and Andrew Takami; and independents John Piper and Andrew Straw.