INDIANAPOLIS - State Senator Brandt Hershman (R-7) has announced plans to resign after 18 years in the Indiana General Assembly. Hershman says he will step down January 2 to join the Washington D.C. office of law firm Barnes & Thornburg as a practicing attorney.

Hershman was elected to the Senate in 2000 and during that time has authored legislation dealing with telecommunications deregulation, tax cuts and infrastructure. In a statement released Friday, Hershman said he is grateful to the people of the 7th district for giving him the chance to represent them. 

"Throughout my tenure, I have focused on making sure Hoosiers are getting the best and most efficient government services for the smallest cost," Hershman said. "It’s been a privilege to work alongside so many dedicated public servants to help enact meaningful conservative reforms that have made our state the fiscal envy of the nation. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve, and am honored to have been a part of the leadership team here at the Senate."

Hershman served as Senate Majority Leader and chairman of the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee. Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-16) released a statement praising Hershman.

"I was assigned by then Senate leadership to serve as his mentor, though it was immediately clear that he needed little tutoring. Brandt is one of the brightest, most accomplished individuals I’ve ever known. He is leaving the Senate with a record that few others in the history of the Indiana State Legislature can match. His legacy as a national leader on such state issues as tax reform, telecom reform, and as a strong and consistent advocate for the agricultural community speaks for itself."

A caucus of Republican precinct committee members will have 30 days to fill the vacancy left behind by Hershman. That person will serve the remainder of Hershman's term.