The residents of Indiana Senate District 44, which includes all of Brown County, will lose nearly 20 years of law-making experience with the retirement of Bedford attorney Brent Steele at the end of 2016.
Another Bedford attorney, Eric Koch, hopes to fill that seat.
Both Steele and Koch are Republicans.
Koch, who has served as the District 65 representative in the House for the past 14 years, is the first candidate to announce plans to seek the GOP nomination in the May primary.
Jan. 6 is the first day declarations of candidacy can be filed.
“Working together, we found solutions and moved Indiana from good to great,” he said. “Still, work remains to be done and more challenges — known and unknown — lie ahead. I look forward to the opportunity to shape our future in the Indiana Senate.”
Former lieutenant governor and state senator Becky Skillman is serving as honorary chair of Koch’s campaign.
Steele said in July that he had decided not to seek re-election because he wanted to devote more time to his family.
A graduate of Georgetown University and the Indiana University School of Law, Koch is an attorney in private practice and a small business owner.
An eighth-generation Hoosier and raised on a farm, he and his wife Connie, a teacher in Bedford, have three sons.
Who: Eric Koch
Political experience: State House District 65 representative for 14 years
Family: Wife, Connie, and three sons