Senator Jim Merritt was born in Indianapolis and has lived there his entire life. He resides in Lawrence Township. Jim graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He is the proud father of three adult children and one granddaughter.

Jim served as President of Circle Financial Corporation and Vice President of the Indiana Railroad Company. Currently he serves as President of JWM Consulting Corporation.

Jim Merritt has devoted the majority of his adult life to public service. At the age of 31, he was the youngest member ever elected to the state senate, up to that point. Since 1991, he has represented District 31.

In the State Senate, Senator Merritt serves as the Majority Caucus Chair. Also, Senator Merritt serves as a majority member of the following committees: Commerce and Technology, Homeland Security and Transportation, Veterans Affairs and the Military, Joint Rules, Public Policy, Rules and Legislative Procedure and the Utilities Committee which he Chairs.

Merritt was elected Chair of the Marion County Republican Party in March of 2017. He resigned that position in December of 2018 and announced his candidacy for Mayor of Indianapolis in January 2019.

Jim is on the Board of Trustees for the Indiana Historical Society and the Board of Directors of Friends of the Indiana Archives. He is also a member of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, Association of Indiana Museums and Indianapolis Museum of Art Government Relations Committee. He is the author of Passing the Torch: Preserving Indiana’s Heritage and the founder of Reaching Parents in Crisis Task Force.

Jim has received the following honors: Most Pro-Job Indiana Senator from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Legislator of the Year from the National Republican Legislators Association, Youth Advocacy Award from the Association of Child/Adolescent Psychiatric Nurses and Toll Fellow from the Council of State Governments. He was named to the Program of Emerging Leaders, Draden School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia and received the Highest Award for Achievement at Dale Carnegie. Jim was also named Lawrence Township Republican of the Year.