TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Greg Goode is no stranger to Indiana’s political scene.
The Indiana State University graduate worked for years as the Executive Director of Government Relations and University Communications, acting as a liaison between ISU and the Indiana General Assembly.
After State Senator Jon Ford announced his resignation from his seat representing Indiana’s 38th Senate District, effective October 16, to pursue other professional endeavors, Goode quickly announced his plans to seek the open spot at the Indiana Statehouse.
Goode shares plans to emulate Sen. Ford, Sen. Young:
Goode said he considers Ford to be “one of the finest public servants” he has ever witnessed, and went on to say he plans to emulate Ford if given the opportunity to serve the 38th district.
“I felt very convicted to pursue this in large part because I wanna be able to continue the hard work and the approach to governance that Jon Ford demonstrated over the last eight years,” Goode said. “He (Ford) has three years remaining on a term, and I really believe that the priorities that he has been pursuing, the priorities he’s been pushing on behalf of Western Indiana, need to continue.”
Goode’s most recent title is State Director for Senator Todd Young, another politician Goode said he would like to model his own potential lawmaking career after, giving the example of the CHIPS and Science Act and the recent announcement that more than $200 million in funding will be heading to Crane and southern Indiana to continue the work of that legislation.
Goode went on to praise Young’s efforts to create bipartisan legislation.
“Senator Young’s approach to governing is working with individuals where there is some shared interests a well as some shared possibilities around solutions to government,” Goode said. “There is no member of the United States Senate who’s a harder worker or is as creative of a thinker than Todd Young, and I seek to emulate that style and that approach.”
Legislative goals – economic prosperity:
Goode said one of the pillars of his campaign is economic prosperity and continuing the effort to develop West Central Indiana.
“At the end of the day, people have to have a good income, a good quality of life, a good quality of place, and that lifts all boats,” Goode said.
He connected his time in higher education to the concept of economic prosperity, saying a skilled workforce is essential to the development of any community.
“Right here in West Central Indiana, an individual, whether it’s preschool all the way to their PhD, very few regions can offer that, but we can offer that,” Goode said. “So we need to make sure that we’re leveraging the higher education and post-secondary work skills and training programs to make sure that we have the workforce to be able to attract investment.”
Housing is also under Goode’s umbrella of economic prosperity.
“We don’t have a robust enough housing stock available for people to live,” Goode said. “So we need quality, affordable housing right here in West Central Indiana, because again, if we wanna retain workers, if we wanna attract more people, they have to have some place to live.”
Goode also mentioned healthcare as a driver of economic growth.
“Healthcare is very important too,” he said. “Making sure that we create policies that incentivize competition in healthcare, while at the same time making sure that it can be affordable.”
Legislative goals – personal and public safety:
Goode said prioritizing personal and public safety, in his eyes, includes supporting the Second Amendment.
“The Second Amendment to me is about public and personal safety and making sure that people, law abiding citizens, can carry a firearm with regard to public safety,” Goode said. “I am a huge believer and supporter of the Second Amendment. I think there was a reason why our Founding Fathers prioritized it as our Second Amendment, because they realized what life under tyranny was all about.”
Support for law enforcement officers is also something Goode wants to see more of in the community.
“There’s been too much rhetoric in our country, whether it’s through defunding the police initiatives or other finger pointing of men and women who put their lives on the line every single day to protect us,” Goode said. “So public safety, getting behind our police officers, our first responders, firefighters, and emergency responders is very, very important to me.”
Legislative goals – compassion:
Goode said compassion is key to helping some of the different groups represented in Indiana’s 38th District.
“Senator Ford’s been so effective in particularly working to help individuals with disabilities, individuals who’ve been dealt a difficult hand in life, making sure that they have opportunities of dignity,” Goode said. “The foster care system is something that needs continued attention, as well as other programs that can help individuals out of poverty.”
Legislative goals – continuing talks to widen I-70:
With the Terre Haute Casino Resort slated to open in Spring 2024, Goode said he wants to see infrastructure improvements, specifically along I-70, to help with the expected influx of visitors.
We here in Western Indiana play such an important part of being that crossroads of America,” Goode said. “We are still though operating on a transportation system that is 50+ years old, and what was very good and productive in the early 70s is woefully out of date today. And as more development with regard to logistics and warehousing continues to develop west of Indianapolis, it has only driven the amount of semi-truck traffic. Anyone who drives from West Terre Haute all the way to Indianapolis knows exactly what I’m talking about.”
Goode said he would continue pushing for the widening of I-70 from a safety standpoint as well as a way to manage tourism.
“I for one am tired of reading about the deaths and horrible accidents that occur on I-70 because, the current interstate system cannot facilitate the amount of traffic utilizing it,” Goode said. “Our overall efforts to build tourism in Western Indiana are so dependent on making sure that we truly have a 21st century transportation system, and that very much includes widening I-70.”
Legislative goals – developing the Wabash riverfront:
As one of the founding members of the Wabash River Regional Development Authority, Goode said if he is part of the General Assembly, he will work to continue development of the local natural resource he calls “magnificent”.
“My focus will be to find public and private partnership opportunities as well as leveraging state funding, whether it’s from INDOT economic development, potentially higher education funding sources, every type of state dollar that can be used to leverage private investment,” Goode said. “We can completely transform the Wabash River and the properties around the Wabash River, public and private, in a way that will make Terre Haute, Indiana and the western Indiana region the most attractive region in the United States of America.”
Goode said the development of the riverfront and other legislative work will not only boost Terre Haute and Vigo County, but the entirety of his potential Senate District.
“That success will then spur the success of the surrounding communities that are also part of Indiana’s 38 District,” Goode said. “Communities like Cory, communities like Sullivan, communities like Brazil, Seelyville, Riley. The success here will spur the success throughout the district, and I’m very excited about the endless possibilities toward that.”
The caucus for the seat is on Saturday, October 7 at 10 a.m. at Northview High School’s Auditorium in Brazil.