HANCOCK COUNTY — Chris Jeter said he first felt the call to serve his country when he joined the U.S. Navy after Sept. 11, 2001. Now, he said, he feels the same desire to serve as he seeks a seat in the Indiana General Assembly.
“I’m a political outsider, I’ve never held any elected office, and I think that’s actually a benefit,” Jeter said. “I will only be loyal to the people who vote for me.”
Jeter is running for the District 88 seat in the state House, the one being vacated by newly retired Speaker of the House Brian Bosma. The district encompasses parts of western Hancock County, including Fortville and McCordsville. Leah McGrath is also running for the position; a story on McGrath appeared in the Friday, May 21, issue of the Daily Reporter.
Jeter is now an attorney and small-business owner in addition to serving in the Navy Reserves. He lives in the Fishers area with his wife and two children. Jeter said one of his major goals in running for office was to provide a new perspective in state politics different from that of “career politicians.”
He also supports a conservative perspective that maximizes personal freedom, he said.
“I want to make government more responsible to people,” Jeter said. “The power of our society is in people.”
Born and raised in Hamilton County, Jeter said he has gotten to know the Hancock County area well through serving on the board of directors of NineStar Connect, as well as practicing law in the county.
“I love what the Hancock County community represents,” he said.
Jeter said in his experience talking to Hancock County voters, they are looking for a candidate who offers “principled, conservative leadership” as well as supportive growth in the county, both things he hopes to be able to provide.
Like many political candidates, Jeter has had to get creative about reaching out to voters due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has focused on social media and making phone calls. He said he is generally supportive of the way Gov. Eric Holcomb and his administration have handled the state’s pandemic response.
“I think it has shown us, though, that government doesn’t have all the answers. It’s a difficult balance,” he said, adding that he hoped the response to the pandemic did not ultimately lead to an expansion in the role of government.
Steve Schneider, a friend of Jeter’s, said he believes Jeter is motivated to run for office out of a desire to serve rather than personal ambition. He said Jeter’s experience as a veteran and an attorney make him a good candidate for office.
“That’s got to bring a different perspective for some of the problems we face and opportunities we have as a society,” Schneider said.
Steve Vail served with Jeter on the NineStar Connect board and said he provided a valuable perspective as a younger member of the board. He said Jeter is the type of person who is willing to look at all sides of an issue in order to find the best solution, rather than becoming locked in to the most popular opinion.
“I think he is an individual who demonstrates both through his words and his actions his commitment to being a good public servant,” Vail said.
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Office sought: State representative (District 88)
Political experience: First campaign for office
Family: Wife Karen, two children