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Holcomb takes lessons from nearly two years of the COVID-19 pandemic

Gov. Eric Holcomb at the one of the first press conferences at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Lauren Chapman
Gov. Eric Holcomb at the one of the first press conferences at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Indiana – like the rest of the country – is approaching two full years of living under the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Eric Holcomb said one of the biggest lessons in governing he’s learned in that time is how to rely on the team around him.

“And remaining calm is what not just gets this administration through, collectively, but it also gets a lot of other folks who are anxious or worse,” Holcomb said.

Many of Holcomb’s decisions during the pandemic have been sharply unpopular among the conservative wing of his party: “Stay At Home” restrictions, the mask mandate, his push to get people vaccinated.

Yet he also won re-election in the middle of it by a wide margin.

Andrew Downs, Mike Downs Center For Indiana Politics director, said if Holcomb hopes to run for office in the future, he’ll have to grapple with those decisions.

“When you look at what he’s done in terms of workforce development, what he’s done to help try to grow business in the area, I think he can counter it in terms of raising endorsements and funds," Downs said. "The question is, can he deliver a message that’s compelling enough to really sort of isolate the discontented voters to the far outside part of the bell-shaped curve of Republican voters?”

Holcomb is term-limited from another run for governor.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.
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Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.