Allen County Councilman Justin Busch to seek David Long’s Indiana Senate seat

Justin Busch

Allen County Councilman Justin Busch has become the first candidate in the race to succeed David Long in the Indiana Senate.

Busch, Northeast Indiana Director for U.S. Sen. Todd Young, was elected to council by a Republican caucus in 2016 following the death of incumbent Roy Buskirk. Buskirk was re-elected that year despite his death, and Busch was the only candidate to file in the caucus to fill the four-year term that began in 2017.

Long, R-Fort Wayne, who has served as Senate president pro tem for 12 years, announced in February he would retire in November after 22 years of service in the Senate. Long previously served on Fort Wayne City Council for eight years.

Before joining council, Busch worked on numerous political campaigns, including President-elect Donald Trump, but had never sought office before. He currently serves as the seven-member council’s vice president, worked in the administration of President George W. Bush and is a former aide to Sens. Dan Coats and Richard Lugar. He was also appointed to the Indiana State Real Estate Commission by former Gov. Mike Pence.

In a statement, Busch said “Sen. Long has very big shoes to fill . . . His leadership, dedication and steadfast commitment to northeast Indiana is something I will work to emulate. I look forward to listening to Hoosiers across the district and having a conversation with my fellow precinct committeemen about the reasons I’d be honored to serve them in the Legislature.”

Young said in a statement that Busch’s “experience, convictions and relationships will allow allow him to serve the people of Senate District 16 well . . . Justin has proven time and again his ability to get things done.”

Busch described himself as pro-life, a fiscal conservative and lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.

A Republican caucus will select someone to fill Long’s current term, which ends in 2020. A date for the caucus has not been set.