The Commercial Review: Hurt seeks Senate position

Who is Mark Hurt?

Right now, he’s part of a crowded field of Republicans jockeying for the nomination to face Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly in the race for U.S. Senate next year.

Six candidates are currently in the race: Rep. Luke Messer, Rep. Todd Rokita, businessman Mike Braun, Andrew Takami of Floyds Knobs, farmer-entrepreneur Terry Henderson and Hurt.

But that field is expected to narrow in the months ahead. There are rumors one or perhaps two of the candidates will be dropping out in the near future.

Hurt, who made an introductory campaign swing through Jay County on Friday, plans to be in the race to the end.

So, who is Mark Hurt?

For the past 19 years, he’s practiced law in Kokomo and Noblesville. Currently, he serves part-time as a deputy prosecutor in Howard County.

“My folks live in Fairmount,” said Hurt.

He graduated from Taylor University with an eye toward teaching and coaching, but an interest in foreign policy led him to a master’s degree from Baylor University.

He then joined the staff of Rep. Fred Grandy, serving in the Iowa Republican’s Washington office. That was followed by several years on the staff of Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, during a time when Coats was developing legislation that created health savings accounts.

When his wife Nancy, a stock analyst, was transferred to Michigan, Hurt returned to school, getting his law degree from the Detroit Law School of Michigan State University.

“I’ve been outside the Beltway for 20 years,” said Hurt. “The question is, who’s the best candidate to defeat Joe Donnelly, and I think that’s me. …

“None of the others have been running a business for 20 years.”

A self-described federalist, Hurt said he is strongly pro-life, calling the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision “a mistake.”

“I believe that the child has constitutional rights,” he said. “And I think Indiana’s real pro-life.”

Hurt said he likes what he has seen from President Donald Trump in terms of policies, though he expressed concern about the tone of communication and a lack of civility. 

“This conservatism is kind of an economic nationalism,” said Hurt. “We don’t just compromise to get a deal.”

He said he is concerned about Russian meddling in the Middle East and the role of Iran in the region.

“And I really believe in standing up for Israel,” he said.

Hurt said he also believes the U.S. military is in need of a serious build-up.

“We’re 50 ships down,” he said. “We need more ships, more men and more planes.”