December 15, 2010

Murray Clark Leaving Post as Indiana Republican Party Chairman

Indiana Republican Party Chairman Murray Clark, a partner at Baker & Daniels LLP, announced to the party's State Central Committee that he will be stepping down from that post at the end of the year.

"I cannot overstate what a privilege and honor it has been serving in this capacity," Clark said in a news release issued by the Indiana Republican Party. "It's never easy to step away from a role that is as challenging and rewarding as chairman of your political party, but this timing makes best sense as we enter the next two election cycles."

"With the upcoming municipal races, redistricting and the final two years of Gov. Daniels' term all getting underway in January, it is best for the party to hand over the reins as the new year kicks off," Clark added.

Since becoming the chairman in early 2006, Indiana Republicans under Clark managed to hold on to every statewide office, despite national political environments that strongly favored Democrats in 2006 and 2008, the GOP release said. In 2008, Gov. Mitch Daniels garnered a record-setting number of votes in his re-election bid. In 2010, the Indiana GOP won control of the Indiana House of Representatives by a 60-40 margin, increased their majority in the Senate to a 37-13 margin, picked up two Congressional seats to give Republicans a 6-3 edge in Indiana's delegation to the U.S. House and won back the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Evan Bayh for 12 years.

Gov. Mitch Daniels praised Clark and his tenure as State Chairman.

"I just can't thank him enough. He's been a great chairman in every respect," Daniels said. "A good steward of funds who has always kept a positive face on the Republican Party, we've been lucky to have him."

Clark's resignation is effective on December 31, 2010. In addition to Clark's departure as chairman, the Indiana GOP also announced that Kevin Ober will step down as executive director at the end of the year, a position he has held since 2007.

At Baker & Daniels, Clark practices in several legal areas, including government services and administrative law where he has first-hand experience in understanding the legislative and administrative processes. Clark served 11 years as an Indiana State Senator, representing portions of Marion and Hamilton counties. He also was campaign chairman of Daniels' successful bid for Indiana Governor in 2004.

In the Indiana Senate, Clark was active in a wide range of issues and recognized repeatedly as an outstanding legislator. With ongoing support of small businesses, he was given the Small Business Champion Award by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce in 2004 and the Guardian of Small Business Award by the National Federation of Independent Business in 2001. While in the General Assembly, Clark authored a successful bill providing for wholesale reform in Indiana's child protection and adoption process. Before leaving the Senate, he was the ranking member of two committees — Economic Development & Technology and Insurance & Financial Institutions — and chair of the Governmental Affairs Subcommittee.
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