Chris May once told an interviewer that he never aspired to be a politician, but “the dominos kind of just fell at the right time.”
He got involved in 2004, volunteering to support Mitch Daniels’ campaign for governor. Two years later, the Bedford resident was encouraged to run for an open seat on the Lawrence County commissioners. He ran, and he won.
May moved on to the Statehouse in 2016, after Eric Koch left his seat representing House District 65 to run for the state Senate. May handily won a six-way Republican primary, then won in the general election with 62% of the vote. He was re-elected in 2018 and 2020 with even bigger shares.
District 65 includes most of Lawrence County, all of Brown County and parts of Monroe, Jackson and Johnson counties. With its population base in conservative Lawrence County, including the city of Bedford, the district has been reliably Republican in recent years. It’s a largely rural district that includes Brown County and Spring Mill state parks as well as stretches of the Hoosier National Forest.
May grew up in the Lawrence County town of Oolitic and graduated from Bedford North Lawrence High School and Vincennes University. He works as a sales engineer with Whitney Tool Co. in Bedford and owns and operates Hoosier Tech Properties, a real estate firm.
In the House, he has been an advocate for local government, small businesses and workforce training and has authored several bills on children’s issues. He is vice chair of the House Small Government Committee and serves on the Judiciary, Interstate and International Cooperation, and Veterans Affairs and Public Safety committees. – Steve Hinnefeld
SB 198-2019 (Sentencing, bias crimes). Allowed longer sentences in crimes based on personal characteristics, stripped of references to sexual orientation, gender identity and race. Yes
SB 516-2019 (Regulation of hemp). Allowed cultivation and regulation of hemp products in Indiana, did not change marijuana laws. Yes
HB 1001-2019 (State budget). Set funding for state agencies and services, including 2.5% annual increases for education, though not directly for teacher salaries. Yes
HB 1004-2019 (School safety). Increased access to funding for security systems and resource officers, was stripped of provisions for mental health screening. Yes
HB 1015-2019 (Various gaming matters). Allowed sports betting statewide and table games in more casinos, relocated a casino in Gary and authorizing a new one in Terre Haute. Yes
SB 1-2020 (Tobacco and vaping). Raised from 18 to 21 the legal age to buy tobacco or vaping products in Indiana. Yes
SB 148-2020 (Zoning and housing matters). Was amended to overrule local tenant protection measures like those in Indianapolis, Bloomington and Merrillville. Vetoed by governor. Yes
HB 1004-2020 (Health matters). Controlled surprise billing for out-of-network and other costs. Yes
HB 1070-2020 (Distracted driving). Made it an infraction to handle a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. Yes
HB 1414-2020 (Electric generation). Prohibited utilities from closing coal-fired generating plants without permission from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. Yes
Sales engineer, Whitney Tool Co.; owner, Hoosier Tech Properties
- Graduated, Industrial and Product Design, Vincennes University, 1993-1995
Local Government (vice chair), Interstate and International Cooperation (vice chair), Judiciary, Veterans’ Affairs and Public Safety
Race/ethnic origin: 97.2% white, 0.6% black, 0.5% Asian, 0.6% other, 1.2% two or more.