Schuler-Hicks could replace GOP Chairwoman Hathaway, sources say

Republican gubernatorial nominee Mike Braun, left, Maureen Braun, Chairwoman Anne Hathaway and Republican U.S. Senate nominee Jim Banks. (Credit: Indiana Republican Party)

Jun 17, 2024
Key Points
  • Sources name Janet Schuler-Hicks as possible replacement for Anne Hathaway
  • Hathaway to focus on her role as national committeewoman representing Indiana at the Republican National Convention in July
  • State GOP Executive Director Joe Elsener also leaving

With Indiana Republican Chairwoman Anne Hathaway’s resignation, informed and reliable Republican sources are telling State Affairs/Howey Politics Indiana that Daviess County Republican Chairwoman Janet Schuler-Hicks is under consideration as her replacement.

Hathaway told the Indiana Republican Central Committee on Friday that she would step down as the GOP chair, concentrating on her role in charge of arrangements for the Republican National Convention in mid-July. She had told State Affairs/Howey Politics Indiana in November 2023 that she believes the next gubernatorial nominee should choose the next party chair.

Schuler-Hicks has been regional director for Braun’s U.S. Senate office. She chairs the GOP in a rural, conservative area that neighbor’s Braun’s DuBois County. A GOP source who believes Schuler-Hicks would “perform the role well,” added that her mindset “aligns with Braun.”

Braun said in a statement to State Affairs/Howey Politics Indiana on Monday that he will leave the decision on who becomes the next state chair to the Republican Central Committee. “The [committee] will decide our next leader, and I am confident they will find a conservative leader who will help Republicans, including Donald Trump, Jim Banks, Todd Rokita, Micah Beckwith and I win in November so that we can implement our conservative agenda in 2025,” said Braun.

Joshua Kelley, senior advisor to the Braun campaign, texted to HPI later Monday,  that, “There has not been an endorsement in the state chair race from Sen. Braun.” 

Choosing a second consecutive female as state chair could be a political necessity for Braun, who with the lieutenant governor nominee Micah Beckwith is now heading an all-male ticket. That compares with what could be all-female Democratic tickets headed by gubernatorial nominee Jennifer McCormick and U.S. Senate nominee Valerie McCray. 

Hathaway, the first woman to serve as head of the state party, was unanimously re-elected by the Indiana Republican State Committee as national committeewoman. At that same meeting, she informed the members she will be stepping down as chairwoman effective upon the election of her successor, and that Executive Director Joe Elsener would also be leaving.

“It has truly been my honor to serve the Republican Party in this capacity for the last 10 months,” Hathaway told Indiana Republican Central Committee members in a statement on Friday. “When Governor Holcomb asked me to serve as chairwoman, I was both humbled and excited. I have truly enjoyed working with Republicans from all 92 counties to strengthen our grassroots.”

Hathaway will remain a Republican National Committee member. The GOP Central Committee also selected Victor Smith of Muncie to replace John Hammond III.

“From day one, Joe and I made it clear that we would commit to serve through the primary and then transition to new leadership,” Hathaway said. “The timing is right, having just concluded our 2024 State Convention, and I look forward to working with Senator Braun and the members of our Republican State Committee to select our next chair.”

Update: This story has been updated with comments from Mike Braun.

Related stories:

Anne Hathaway’s historic climb to GOP chair

Braun will let Chairwoman Hathaway write her own ticket

Brian Howey is senior writer and columnist for Howey Politics Indiana/State Affairs. Find Howey on Facebook and Twitter @hwypol.

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