One day after officially becoming a ticket, the Holcomb/Crouch campaign today announced its senior leadership team of Mike O’Brien, campaign manager; Pete Seat, communications director; Brian McGrath, finance director; Mindy Colbert, deputy finance director; Joe Elsener, coalitions director; and Ethan Lawson, deputy political director.
“This senior campaign team brings unparalleled experience in developing strategy, delivering a message, raising money and executing a ground game,” said Lt. Governor Holcomb. “Between them, they are an all-star team with experience working on campaigns ranging from the township level to the presidential level, and serving public officials from State Auditor to president of the United States. Suzanne and I are excited to welcome them to our growing team.”
Mike O’Brien, Campaign Manager – Mike O’Brien was most recently a senior public policy advisor in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Indianapolis office and a member of the firm’s Governmental Services and Finance Department. Prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg, Mike was a vice president with Bose Public Affairs Group in Indianapolis. He has also served as legislative director for Governor Mitch Daniels during which he was the primary liaison between the governor and the General Assembly on all legislative matters.
Mike’s previous political experience includes working on the Mitch for Governor Campaign in 2004 and 2008. In 2006, he managed Todd Rokita’s successful election as Secretary of State. In 2009, he was elected chairman of the Hendricks County Republican Party. Mike earned his undergraduate degree from Indiana University – Bloomington.
Pete Seat, Communications Director – Pete Seat was most recently the senior project manager at Hathaway Strategies, an innovative grassroots public affairs firm located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Prior to that, he was Communications Director for the Indiana Republican Party under then-State Chairman Eric Holcomb and prior to that served in the same capacity on the campaign of former and current U.S. Senator Dan Coats. From June 2005 to January 20, 2009, Pete served on President George W. Bush’s White House staff, including a stint as a spokesman in the Press Office under Dana Perino.
Pete has published op-eds in news outlets around the country including Politico, CNN.com and MSNBC.com, is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC and FOX News programs and published a book titled The War on Millennials in 2014. He is also a regular panelist on WRTV’s Indianapolis This Week and fills in from time-to-time on WFYI’s Indiana Week in Review. A native of Schererville, Indiana, Pete is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a BA in Theatre Arts.
Brian McGrath, Finance Director – Brian McGrath most recently served as vice president of external relations for EdChoice. In that capacity, Brian developed resources and partnerships that supported EdChoice’s nationwide efforts to promote educational choice for all children.
Previously, Brian worked for Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels as finance director of his 2008 reelection campaign, which raised a record amount of support and won the most votes ever for a statewide candidate in Indiana. Following the campaign, Brian served as executive director of Aiming Higher Inc. and Aiming Higher PAC, two organizations that supported Governor Daniels’s political and policy goals, among them the passage of the landmark 2011 education agenda.
Mindy Colbert, Deputy Finance Director – Mindy Colbert is the President and Owner of Colbert Consulting, LLC. Prior to starting Colbert Consulting, Mindy gained over 10 years of political and non-profit fundraising experience. She served as the Executive Director of an Indiana education reform organization, Finance Director for the Indiana Republican Party, and Director of Political Fundraising for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, where she raised funds for both the state and federal political action committees.
Mindy has worked in both the Indiana House of Representatives and Indiana Senate and earned her bachelor’s degree from DePauw University. She spends her volunteer time helping organizations that support veterans and their families. She is a 2005 graduate of the Indiana Leadership Forum and a 2012 graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University.
Joe Elsener, Coalitions Director – Joe Elsener most recently was a Special Assistant in the office of Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb. Prior to that he was the Political Director for Eric Holcomb’s U.S. Senate campaign where he coordinated an all-volunteer ballot signature gathering effort in all 92 counties. During the 2014 election cycle, Joe was the Statewide Field Director for the Indiana Republican Party where he was responsible for executing a field program that made over 1.5 million voter contact calls and knocked on over 70,000 doors. He also previously served as the Special Assistant to then-State Chairman Eric Holcomb and the Fourth Congressional District Field Representative for Mike Pence’s 2012 campaign for governor. Joe is an Indianapolis native and a graduate of Marian University.
Ethan Lawson, Deputy Political Director – Ethan Lawson was most recently the Communications and Legislative Director for Auditor of State Suzanne Crouch. Prior to that role, he was the Auditor’s Executive Assistant. Ethan has also served in various capacities for the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, the Indiana Education Savings Authority and in the district office of U.S. Congressman Todd Rokita. Ethan is currently the executive director of the Indiana Federation of Young Republicans and formerly the chairman of the Hendricks County Young Republicans.