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Gubernatorial candidate Brad Chambers unveils 10-point plan to grow Indiana's economy

Brad Chambers speaks during a press conference. Chambers is a White man with brown hair, wearing a suit and tie.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
Republican gubernatorial candidate Brad Chambers unveiled his 10-point economic plan at a tech innovation facility in Fishers, Indiana on March 18, 2024.

Former state commerce secretary Brad Chambers said the number one job of a governor is to grow the economy and increase wages. And the Republican gubernatorial candidate unveiled his 10-point economic plan Monday.

The plan includes tax reform, entrepreneurship support, child care access and housing availability.

Chambers said boosting economic growth unlocks so many other possibilities.

“A growing economy allows us to fix education, make sure we have police and fire, make sure that mental health and health care is being addressed,” Chambers said.

Part of Chambers’ plan includes continuing with the strategies he led during his tenure at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Some of those — most notably the development of the LEAP district in central Indiana — have been sharply criticized by other candidates, some legislators and local leaders.

But while Chambers said he’s learned lessons from that experience, he said the state can’t stop its work to develop sites in a bid to lure big investment.

“I put us in a position to be ready, with the LEAP Innovation District,” Chambers said. “We’re either going to focus on high-wage careers, growing our economy, keeping our kids and our grandkids in Indiana, or we’re not.”

The one issue Chambers said more people have approached him about than any other during the campaign is property taxes.

“Let’s create a simpler formula so everybody can understand it,” Chambers said. “I’m a real estate guy and sometimes I don’t understand how an assessment came to be.”

READ MORE: Republican gubernatorial candidates spar in first formal debate of campaign

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Chambers also wants to explore ways to reduce spikes in property taxes, particularly for older Hoosiers and veterans.

His economic plan would create two new cabinet positions in state government, including one for entrepreneurship and innovation. Indiana ranks, by some measures, among the worst states for the rate of new entrepreneurs and venture capital given to companies based here.

“We’ll continue and expand the Innovation Voucher Grant program … and continue to support the development of facilities for startup innovators,” Chambers said. “Nothing more important than entrepreneurship.”

The other new cabinet position would lead a state water resource plan.

“Water is a strategic asset of Indiana,” Chambers said. “Some states don’t have that strategic asset. We do, so now let’s inventory it, now let’s make someone focused on managing that asset of ours.”

Chambers said fixing the “super complex” child care system is critical because a lack of affordable access is keeping people out of the workforce. His plan would include a child care tax credit for working families.

The state’s ongoing housing shortage is also an impediment to a growing workforce. Chambers wants to “reinvent” the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, urging a new for “fresh eyes” to help address single-family and multi-family housing needs across the state.

Early, in-person voting for Indiana’s primary begins April 9.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.