The former CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. has announced his intention to run for Indiana governor on the GOP ticket.

Eric Doden, who also was appointed by at-that-time Gov. Mike Pence to be president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. from 2012-2015, has announced his run for office even though the 2024 primary is three years away.

“Some in the political class might say it is far too early,” Doden said in a statement. “I am committed to earning the trust of Hoosiers and will use this time to embark on a listening tour across all 92 counties. This campaign will be conducted the way I believe will help Hoosiers, not political insiders. I look forward to visiting with you as we work to make Indiana a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

Doden was CEO of Greater Fort Wayne from 2015-2018, when he left to return full-time to his private-sector job as a partner with Domo Development and Domo Ventures. He is known here as a champion of Electric Works, riverfront development and the rebirth of the Landing.

This isn’t Doden’s first time running for office. He ran for the Republican nomination for mayor of Fort Wayne in 2011, losing the primary to Paula Hughes, who lost to Mayor Tom Henry.

In the letter from Doden explaining why he’s running for governor, he says, “I have spent the last decade focused on tackling Indiana’s greatest challenges and implementing conservative solutions that get real results for the people of Indiana.”

He goes on to say he believes “our brightest days are ahead. While the political class tells us that they are solving our biggest problems, people tell me it ofte feels like they are more worried about their job, or their next political career move, than improving our lives.”

In the letter, Doden acknowledges criticism from others involved in politics. “A few political insiders will say that I am too bold or too direct for their taste. Many leaders who know me well have encouraged me to bring my authentic, bold, no-nonsense approach to the Indiana governor’s race.”

He believes the state can restore and grow its Indiana Main Streets, enable success for students and educators, improve the healthcare system and create 21st century economic opportunities.

“To do so, we need to elect leaders who have the experience, vision and courage to get results. That’s what I did when I served then-Governor Pence, it’s what I did leading job growth efforts in Allen County, and it is what I do each and every day in my business, working hard to create greater opportunities in our communities,” he said.

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