ELKHART — State Rep. Tim Neese won't retire from the Indiana General Assembly for another 16 months, but there's already interest in filling the seat.
Adam Bujalski, of Elkhart, announced Wednesday, Aug. 7, he plans to run for the District 48 House seat that Neese has held for more than a decade.
Bujalski's announcement comes less than a day after Neese announced plans to retire from the state house and consider a run for mayor of Elkhart.
Bujalski works as a branch manager for Key Bank on Lincolnway East in Goshen and is vice chairman of the Elkhart County Republican Party.
He said he's been meeting in recent months with residents, educators and local small business owners.
“I believe that my past experiences have groomed me for this position and that I will be the best candidate available. Indiana has had tremendous leadership to see us through the downturn, and although we were affected at one of the highest (unemployment) rates in the nation, we have bounced back to the envy of many states and are held in high regard,” Bujalski said.
He pointed to the economy and the need for job growth as two concerns he would highlight in his campaign.
“I believe that we do not need to reinvent the proverbial wheel, but we need to continue to diversify our economy. We need to work with the many outstanding high schools, colleges, universities and trade schools to prepare our high school graduates for careers in the diverse technical fields that are being brought into our state,” he said. “We need to properly manage our state's funds, so that if (and) when our country hits another economic downturn, we will be even more prepared to continue business as usual.”
In January, Bujalski, 31, was among a large number of people who sought to fill the open seat on Elkhart City Council and finished second in the final vote. He also ran for city council in 2011 and lost to incumbent Tonda Hines by a narrow margin.
Bujalski is a U.S. Army veteran and has worked in the finance industry for more than seven years.
He is involved with the Loyal Order of the Moose, Knights of Columbus, Osolo Little League and is a charter representative for Pack 750 Cub Scouts at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church.