Berry elected Republican state chairman

2013-07-22T18:00:00Z 2013-08-14T10:42:07Z Berry elected Republican state chairmanBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com

INDIANAPOLIS | State Auditor Tim Berry was unanimously elected chairman of the Indiana Republican Party on Monday.

Marsha Coats, the wife of U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., was chosen to serve on the Republican National Committee.

"I am excited about the opportunities before us to broaden our base of support around the state of Indiana," Berry said following the expected voting results. "In the past several years we have had great success, but now it is incumbent upon us to not become complacent. We must strive each and every day to continue building upon our great foundation for the betterment of every Hoosier."

Gov. Mike Pence, who recommend earlier this month the Republican state committee pick Berry for party leader and Coats for national committeewoman, said he's confident the two-term state treasurer and two-term state auditor will be good for Indiana Republicans.

Berry plans to remain state auditor for now and will be volunteering as GOP chairman until Pence is ready to announce his choice for a new state auditor, said Republican Party spokesman Pete Seat, a Schererville native.

Pence spokeswoman Kara Brooks said the governor's auditor announcement is likely to come by mid-August.

Republicans are Indiana's dominant political party, controlling a U.S. Senate seat, seven of nine U.S. House seats and all but one state office. They hold supermajorities in both chambers of the Indiana General Assembly and more mayor's offices than the Democrats.

Chuck Williams, of Valparaiso, one of Northwest Indiana's representatives on the GOP state committee, said Berry's chief task will be to continue the party's momentum.

"The goal there is to maintain the majority in the House and the Senate and get ready for mayors' races in 2015," Williams said.

Berry chose Misty Dees Hollis, of Richmond, as the party's vice chairwoman, and named Kyle Robertson, Pence's 2012 campaign manager, its executive director.

The state committee also voted to hold the party's 2014 convention in Fort Wayne, Berry's hometown.

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