Times-Union: Governor Candidate Brad Chambers Touts Business Experience

By David Slone
Warsaw Times-Union

WARSAW, Ind. — Two big economic impacts to Indiana were announced last week, and Republican candidate for Indiana governor Brad Chambers played a role in making them happen.

On Thursday, Amazon Web Services announced plans to invest an estimated $11 billion in Indiana, creating at least 1,000 new jobs and marking the largest capital investment in the state’s history.

In January, Google had announced a data center for Northeast Indiana was planned. In a follow-up announcement on Friday, Google announced it was investing $2 billion to build the data center. It’s also expected to create up to 200 new jobs.

During a one-on-one interview Saturday at Wire & Steam Coffee Co. in Warsaw, Chambers said, “I’m a 40-year business guy, and I worked for a dollar a year as commerce secretary, and during that two years, (I) broke every record in state history for economic development. That was my job.”

He said the Amazon and Google announcements last week were on his watch.

“(I) not only got the ball rolling, but I took it to the red zone, and the team – because I stepped out of the commerce department back in August – they just finished it. So I was directly steering those projects,” Chambers said. “So that’s why I’m running for governor, because I think we need to continue to grow our economy. We need to make sure that economic growth ends up in everyday Hoosiers’ pockets, and I think that there’s enormous potential for that but it’s going to take someone like me to do it and I don’t think the other four candidates offer that. I don’t think they have a vision for Indiana’s economic growth that I do. So I think I’m a unique candidate in that way.”

This election is a crossroads election, he said, because the state is either going to continue the momentum he started as commerce secretary or it’s not.

There’s other economic development announcements that are yet to come, he said, but unfortunately he couldn’t talk about it at this juncture.

“But, two years ago I was in Seoul, South Korea, talking to the chairman of a company called SK Hynix. Two weeks ago, I was in West Lafayette at Purdue, announcing a $4 billion investment by SK Hynix in a semiconductor plant. That was my transaction because I was two years ago in Seoul, South Korea, and two weeks ago we’re announcing a $4 billion plant,” Chambers stated.

He traveled to 15 countries over 24 months as Indiana’s commerce secretary, telling the state’s story with confidence in how great Indiana is, he said.

“That worked. It delivered close to $70 billion worth of new investment,” Chambers said.

“To give you some comparison, that $70 billion in a little bit over close to 30 months, (former Indiana governor) Mitch Daniels did $48 billion in eight years. That’s unprecedented growth what I was able to do as commerce secretary, and I believe we can bring more of that if I’m governor.”

He likes to say that Indiana is great, but it can be even better.

“And why wouldn’t we want even better? And so, I think politicians tend to think good and great is fine. I don’t believe that. I think ‘even better’ is the objective because ‘even better’ touches everybody,” he said.

Indiana is known for being business-friendly, having a stable government, a great workforce and great people, great communities and low taxation, Chambers said.

“We have this great place I call Indiana, but I proved it can be even better economically, and when you have a growing economy, you have increasing revenues. You get to use those revenues to fix things, like education and support police and firefighters. And to deal with the mental health and childcare challenges that are in the state. And we have a growing economy that ends up in people’s pockets, Hoosiers pockets. And when people feel secure, their life is better – their kids are better, their health is better, their housing is better, their quality of life is better. When you have a growing economy and feel it, people’s quality of life is better and you’re fixing problems, that’s why government can be smaller because crime goes down, unemployment goes down, welfare goes down, Medicaid use goes down and government actually shrinks,” he explained.

Having started a company from nothing and being in business for 40 years, Chambers said he’s uniquely qualified to help make that happen.

“And there’s more to do. I’m passionate about Indiana. I’m grateful for my journey in Indiana,” he stated.

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