Friday, May 29, 2015

Pelath Passes on Governor Run in 2016

Pelath at work in the Indiana House
Indiana House Minority Leader Scott Pelath said he’s going to pass on running for Governor in 2016 leaving Democrats with two confirmed candidates and one possible choice for the Indiana’s highest executive office.

The Michigan City Democrat said essentially that getting into the race would further divide the party at a time when that would not be helpful to its hopes of beating Mike Pence in 2016.

Seven years ago, the party did experience a bitter primary. Millionaire architect Jim Schellinger was the choice of many of the party’s insiders, but he lost to former Congresswoman Jill Long Thompson. A poor campaign and a lack of funding sent Long Thompson to a crushing defeat at the hands of incumbent Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. Schellinger did publicly come out in lukewarm support of Long Thompson, but the camps of each candidate never seemed to come together.

In 2012, neither Mike Pence nor John Gregg had much in the way of challengers in the primary. Libertarian Rupert Boneham joined the race, and it was seen pretty much as Pence’s race to lose from there on out. He had an 18-point lead in some polls just weeks before Election Day.

A strong close from Gregg and strong performances in the debates by the former House Speaker left the margin just a little bit over three percentage points when the votes were finally counted.

Pelath said he’d like to see Karen Tallian, John Gregg, and Glenda Ritz, if she runs, come together and get behind one nominee heading into 2016. Pence may or may not have the luxury of an unchallenged primary. Former Angie’s List CEO Bill Osterle is said to be thinking about a run, and Bob Thomas, a Fort Wayne car dealer, says he might give it a go. Contested primaries mean using resources that some candidates would rather see used in November. Of course, some voters like choices.

I'm disappointed Pelath isn't running, frankly.  I am glad he's staying in the Indiana House.  He's done a tremendous job as minority leader.

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