Republican State Senator Jim Merritt of Indianapolis is confirming he’s being considered by the Trump administration to be the nation’s new Drug Czar.
This was first reported in “The Cheat Sheet”, an Indy Politics publication.
During this week’s episode of the In an appearance on the Capitol Happenings podcast with co-host Rob Kendall, Merritt said several colleagues had submitted his name for consideration.
Merritt says he has some conversations with Washington and was flattered at the opportunity.
The “Drug Czar” helps craft the nation’s policy in dealing with drug abuse and treatment.
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Our sources tell us the administration has been impressed with his leadership here in Indiana with respect heroin and opioid abuse, as well as the Lifeline law.
If selected, Merritt would join fellow Hoosiers Seema Verma, the head of CMS, and Dr. Jerome Adams who was picked for Surgeon General.
If Merritt does get picked, that opens up his seat. Some possible contenders would be State Rep. Todd Huston, Indianapolis City-County Councilors Jeff Coats and Mike McQuillen, virtually all the members of the Fishers Town Council and local businessman Gurinder Singh Khalsa.
Selecting Merrit for Drug Czar would also open up the Marion County Chairman position. Right now Melissa Thompson of Hathaway Strategies is Vice-Chair so she would be first in line for the job if there’s a vacancy.