He lost his bid for public office in 2004, but now local businessman and community leader Ken Eitel is ready to try it again.
The life-long Putnam County native and administrative partner of Eitel's Flowers and Gifts has joined the ranks of several local residents vying to have their name to be put on the ballot this fall in place of District 44 Rep. Andy Thomas (R-Brazil) who recently announced he was stepping out of the race.
Eitel's political experience began during the May 2004 primary election when he ran, but lost, against Thomas on the Republican ticket. Now he says he's ready to give it another shot.
"My core values of citizen leadership and the importance of strong economic and educational initiatives for the future of District 44 remain the same," Eitel said.
When he ran in 2004, Eitel did so with the official endorsement of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and All Children Matter, a national organization that supports education.
While he has not sought those official endorsements this go around, Eitel says he still has the support of the Indiana Chamber and plans to seek other endorsements if his name is chosen at the Republican Caucus set to meet Aug. 2, at 7 p.m at the Putnam County Courthouse Annex.
Other local residents with their names in the hat are Republicans Darwyn Nelson and Kathy Deer.
Eitel says his platform, should he be placed on the November ballot, will be to push for changes to the current property tax system, which he says has had a negative effect on local governments.
"I think we need to look at the inequity that has been created by the current property tax system," he said. "The current tax collection structure is causing local governments to be really squeezed in providing essential services."
Eitel also says he will focus on helping create more jobs for Hoosiers, which in turn helps to stabilize the economy. Plus he will continue to support education and seek to improve student performance.
He currently serves as adjunct faculty for Ivy Tech Greencastle where he teaches courses on business and life skills.
"I am committed to serve multiple terms over the next 10 years and raising the position and awareness of our district in the state legislature," Eitel said. "It's just time for me to serve. I think I see things with a different set of glasses."