Thursday, July 7, 2016

Who Wants to be the Governor?

Should Donald Trump select Mike Pence to be his running mate, it could shake up not only the Governor’s race, but it could cause some shifts down the ballot, too.

WRTV’s Katie Heinz reported on Twitter earlier today that the GOP State Central Committee has been contacted by “8-10” people interested in jumping into the 2016 gubernatorial grind. 

Among those particularly interested you’d figure Eric Holcomb would be the easiest choice. Pence could even help Holcomb if Trump selects him by resigning as Governor and giving the Lieutenant Governor the reins to state government now. It would allow Holcomb to run as the incumbent rather than as the state’s number two.

Two U.S. Representatives have shown at least some interest in the job. Todd Rokita released a statement saying that if Governor Pence becomes the Vice Presidential nominee that he would be interested in taking over on the ballot for him. Susan Brooks has also said she’s been encouraged to run by supporters, according to Heinz. If Rokita or Brooks would be selected, they would no longer stand for reelection to Congress and those ballot slots would have to be filled for the GOP.

Jobless former U.S. Representative Marlin Stutzman has been mentioned by some to be a possible candidate as have outgoing Attorney General Greg Zoeller and current Auditor of State Suzanne Crouch. Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma is another possibility, but he would again no longer stand for reelection to an Indiana House seat he’s served in since 1986. Bosma’s facing perhaps one of the toughest opponents he’s ever faced this year in Dana Black, the Democratic nominee for the seat. Senate President Pro Tempore David Long is in the same situation as Bosma as he is on the ballot this year.

An intriguing possibility would be former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. Ballard has been out and about recently much more, but he might be far too liberal for the taste of some Indiana Republicans. After all, Ballard, in one of his best moments as Mayor, stood up against the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 

Other possible candidates off the top of my head of people that certainly might be interested include State Senator Mike Delph, former Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman, Purdue President Mitch Daniels, and maybe even some other names we haven’t heard of yet.

I have a feeling it will be one of the names identified in this post. I think the frontrunners to replace Pence should he be selected as the Vice Presidential nominee for the GOP are likely Ballard, Bosma, Brooks, Holcomb and Rokita. Someone like Daniels can clear the field, but he clearly seems to be enjoying his position at Purdue.  Abdul-Hakim Shabazz's take is here.  (He adds Jim Merritt as well to the list).

All will become much clearer in the next 35-40 days for sure.

In the meantime, if you’re John Gregg, your job is to make sure with the money you’ve raised to keep your name on television, on the radio, on the internet and in the newspapers as much as possible. Keep telling Hoosiers how he has wanted to serve as Governor since the beginning of the campaign.

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