Race to Succeed Berry As Auditor Could Reach Quick End
Instead of convention nominating fight, Pence pick will have upper hand
Tim Berry's selection as state Republican chairman throws a game-changing -- and perhaps game-ending -- twist into the race to succeed him as state auditor.
With Berry barred from seeking a third term, Republicans were lining up to court possible convention delegates. His departure to become party chairman means there will be an incumbent after all -- one appointed by Governor Pence.
Brownsburg Town Council president Dwayne Sawyer says candidates will have to decide whether to keep running. He's not tipping his hand to what he'll do. "We'll have to see how it all plays out," Sawyer says.
Lewisville Representative Tom Saunders announced an exploratory committee hours before the news broke about Berry's job change. He says whoever Pence appoints will almost certainly be renominated at the convention.
None of the candidates needs to get out yet -- instead of lobbying delegates, they have two weeks to lobby Pence for the job.
Indianapolis City-County Council Minority Leader Michael McQuillen has been looking at the race, while Fishers Republican Cecilia Coble has been mentioned as well. And State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who like Berry can't seek reelection, had been rumored to be considering a run, a year after unseating Senator Richard Lugar in the Republican primary before losing the general election to now-Senator Joe Donnelly. A spokesman said last month Mourdock had made no decision on his future plans.
Berry isn't saying whether he'll recommend a successor to Pence, but says he'll support the governor's choice at next year's GOP convention.