By Leslie Bonilla Muñiz
Indiana Capital Chronicle
INDIANA — Hunter Smith, an Indianapolis Colts punter turned farmer, is running for an open Statehouse seat as a Republican.
Current Rep. Donna Schaibley, R-Carmel, announced in October that she would not seek reelection in 2024. House District 24 includes parts of Boone and Hamilton counties.
Smith played for the Colts from 1999 to 2008, then played an additional two years for the Washington Redskins. Smith — who grew up on a Texas farm — has operated his own farm in Zionsville for about a decade, according to its website.
He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1999.
Smith filed his candidate statement of organization in November, according to the state’s campaign finance database. His entry into the race was first reported Thursday in the political newsletter Importantville.
Smith didn’t immediately return requests for comment Monday.
But the Indiana Democratic Party pounced in a news release, calling Smith an “anti-civil rights extremist” for the his affiliation with the anti-gay Indiana Family Institute.
Chair Mike Schmuhl instead highlighted his party’s candidate, attorney Josh Lowry. Lowry filed his statement of organization in June 2022 and an amended version in April.
Republican Bill Gutrich is also in the race; he filed in October.
One of them — or a yet-to-enter candidate — will replace Schaibley. She’s retiring after almost a decade spent in office, and is one of numerous Republicans to lay out exit plans or make mid-term departures since the last legislative session ended in April.