EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT) – Southern Indiana egg farmer John Rust has declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat in 2024.

Rust, chair of the Seymour-based “Rose Acre Farms”, says he is a Christian, capitalist conservative who happens to be openly gay. Rust also says he’s being denied access to the ballot under an Indiana state law that prohibits anyone from running for a party that differs from their past voting record. He says that he’s filed a lawsuit challenging that law.

“I don’t think it matters which party you’re a part of, if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. I’m a conservative Republican. But if you’re a Democrat, the same law applies to you, as well,” says Rust. “You cannot run in your party, if you did not vote in this obscure law that they are talking about, that no one knows about. It still means 80% of Hoosiers can’t run for office. I think it’s just wrong.”

Rust was in Evansville today to gather signatures to enable his run for the Republican candidacy in next year’s primary. Indiana law says a declaration of candidacy for U.S. Senator must be accompanied by a petition signed by at least 4,500 state voters.