Thursday, September 23, 2010
Skillman vs. Bayh 2012???
It's looking like the stars may be aligning for a battle royale between Becky Skillman and Evan Bayh for the Governor's Office in 2012. Sure, there are many twists and turns ahead, but if you believe what the two candidates said on Channel 13 last night...I'd say they are both in the pool and just beginning to swim.
Lt. Governor Skillman told WTHR's Kevin Rader that she is "seriously considering" a run for Governor. Skillman has largely been in the shadow of Governor Mitch Daniels for the last six years. Her future may still well be tied to the 2010 elections. If Governor Daniels gets a majority in the Indiana House, he will be able to jam through his agenda and Skillman will be the one getting the credit or the displeasure in the 2012 Gubernatorial race.
Soon-to-be former Senator Bayh told Kevin Rader that he hasn't made a final decision about 2012 yet, and he wouldn't go as far as to say that he was "seriously considering" a run, but his millions and his timeline for a decision say that he might. He told Rader that a decision will be made between Thanksgiving and New Year's about his future. He didn't categorically deny that he would run, either.
A wild card in all of this is Republican Congressman Mike Pence. While Pence is now potentially a national candidate given his performance in that recent Iowa conservative straw poll, there is some speculation that he could still come back to the Hoosier State and run for Governor. If he feels he's not yet ready for a run at the Presidency and decides that he wishes to add some executive experience to his resume, he might try.
Bayh will be a huge hill to climb for Skillman or even Pence. He has kept hold of his millions in campaign dollars, and he can quickly sneeze out more. Bayh has great appeal within the moderate category and can pull some Republican votes. I know he raises the ire of progressive Democrats...including this one...but there's no question that this could get really interesting over the next few months.
Yes, it looks like after a while in the wilderness, the Gubernatorial Grind may be heating up for 2012. Looks like it will be an interesting one to watch develop.
Here's Rader's full report.