By Jonathan Streetman
A Kokomo attorney has announced his intention to run for a seat in the United State Senate in 2018, and he is starting to make the rounds inside the state.
Mark Hurt, 54, said he was the first senatorial candidate to file with the Federal Election Commission when he did so on Feb.1. This would be Hurt’s first elected position, although he does have experience working in Washington, D.C., including time in then Sen. Dan Coats’ office.
A Republican, Hurt is seeking the seat now held by Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, who won the office in 2012. Hurt’s name will be on the ballot in the May 8, 2018 GOP primary.
Hurt said he decided to run for the Senate to help improve U.S. foreign relations, which he believes were softened during Barack Obama’s presidency.
“The lack of presidential leadership theses past eight years created a vacuum that Russian President Vladimir Putin has filled, and led to heightened threats from the People’s Republic of China, Russia and North Korea,” he said, adding that the “unacceptable international agreement with Iran is leading to an escalation of nuclear arsenals.”
He would like to see top-down reform of the criminal justice system, and more specifically, how individuals with mental health issues are treated by the system. Hurt also said he wants the Senate to be more transparent, returning to up-or-down, one-issue votes with a slow, deliberate process.
Although he has served as a part-time deputy prosecuting attorney for the state of Indiana for the past 18 years, he understands that he does not have the same type of brand recognition as an established politician. “That’s just fine,” he said
“I think the time is perfect for the nonestablished candidate, and I think Donald Trump certainly proved that in Indiana, with winning over 61 percent. Whether it’s Veterans or People in Rural areas or the elderly, I think they want a change in the status quo,” Hurt said, adding that he is a proponent of term limits for politicians so that they keep their constituents’ best interests in mind.
“I think they’re wanting someone with Mitch Daniels attributes that wants to be a problem solver to come in for maybe two terms as a senator and working to solve problems, not as much ideological partisanship,” he said.
Hurt said he plans to be active on social media in the coming months, another tip he learned from Trump, and has been traveling around the state to get his name out there among constituents.