By Nate Smith
Washington Times Herald
WASHINGTON — A Washington City Councilman announced Monday his intentions to run for the state senate.
Republican Eric Bassler announced his campaign for Indiana Senate Dist. 39 with an event at the Daviess County Courthouse. He later held similar events in Martin and Greene counties.
District 39, currently held by John Waterman, encompasses Daviess, Greene, Martin and Sullivan counties and parts of Knox, Clay and Owen counties. The primary will be in May, 2014.
“Our focus should be on jobs, ensuring quality education for our kids, and strengthening families. Improving these areas will provide an environment in which Hoosiers can thrive,” Bassler said in a release.
Bassler was elected to an at-large seat on the Washington City Council in November, 2011. Since his election, he has also served on the city’s Board of Public Works and Safety.
Bassler also said in the release the state senate needs fresh ideas and a new vision for our area.
“We need a leader who leads from the front lines,” Bassler said. “Hoosiers want leaders who understand business, budgeting and finances. As a successful manager and small business owner, I will bring innovative solutions to the table for Indiana’s most difficult problems.”
Bassler said Monday the desire to enter this race against a long-time incumbent was for District 39 to do better. He is a financial advisor for Edward D. Jones in Washington and serves the company in training new financial advisors across the country and in England. Before his current position in Washington, Bassler has worked in banking and finance in London, England and in northern Indiana.
For two years, he served in the Peace Corps as a business development consultant in the Ukraine and in Albania.
Bassler is a 1986 and 1988 graduate of Indiana University. He and his wife Julie have five children and live in Washington.
Waterman, who has served in the Senate since 1994, has not announced whether he will seek another term and plans to make an announcement later this week.
Bassler’s announcement is the latest by several candidates for state seats in 2014.
Earlier this month, Mike Braun of Jasper announced his intentions to run for Indiana House District 63, while current Rep. Mark Messmer said he will run for the state senate in District 48.
Today, Bassler will be in Freelandville, Sullivan, Clay City and Owen County to meet with voters. He plans to have a full schedule of meeting and talking with the public in the next year.
“We are going to be attending festivals, parades, fairs and a lot of events,” Bassler said. “We are going to have a very aggressive schedule.”