State Sen. Karen Tallian drops out of (Indiana) governor’s race

(Link to Trump’s position on immigration reform is here. – Admin.) Lawmaker’s departure leaves former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg, the 2012 nominee, as the only Democrat still in the running. By Chelsea Schneider, Reporter 8/17/15 John Gregg became the sole contender in the Democratic race for Indiana governor Monday, after the departure of state Sen. Karen Tallian. Tallian’s withdrawal from the race follows Glenda Ritz dropping out earlier this month to run for another term as state schools chief. Both candidates faced an uphill battle against the fundraising power … Continue reading

Why Glenda Ritz dropped out of Indiana governor’s race

Democrat who struggled with fundraising says she will instead run for re-election to state superintendent of public instruction in 2016. By Tony Cook and Chelsea Schneider 8/7/15 Glenda Ritz ended her run for Indiana governor on Friday, dropping out of the race just two months after announcing she’d seek the office. The announcement comes after Ritz’s campaign struggled to raise money in her bid for the Democratic nomination. Instead of running for governor, Ritz will seek re-election to state superintendent of public instruction in 2016, according to a statement … Continue reading

Ritz, Buttigieg speak at Democratic dinner

Gubernatorial candidate: Education should be top priority The Rochester Sentinel By Wesley Dehne, Staff Writer 7/27/15 Glenda Ritz, superintendent of public instruction and 2016 gubernatorial candidate, called for greater emphasis on education and job creation while terming the Religious Freedom Restoration Act a “disaster” at the annual Jefferson Jackson Democratic Dinner at the Fulton County Museum Saturday. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg also spoke at the event, emphasizing the accomplishments of the largely Democratic city government. Approximately 80 people attended the dinner, sponsored by the Fulton County Democrat Women. To … Continue reading

Brian Howey: Glenda Ritz seeks education showdown with Gov. Pence

Brian Howey evaluates the race for governor now that Glenda Ritz has announced. The Elkhart Truth By Brian Howey 6/4/15 INDIANAPOLIS — It was noon on Friday, Nov. 6, 2003, as citizen Mitch Daniels stood among diners at Don & Dona’s restaurant in downtown Franklin. Over his shoulder on TV was Gov. Joe Kernan, reversing his stunning announcement from the year prior not to run in 2004. Daniels welcomed Kernan back to the race. “No one can predict the ultimate political effect, but from a citizen’s standpoint, this is absolutely … Continue reading

Glenda Ritz: How Education Could Play Into A Bid For Governor

(Glenda Ritz announced her candidacy for governor today. Also, Rick Perry and Lincoln Chafee have announced their candidacies for president.) StateImpact By Rachel Morello 6/4/15 Updated 2:09 p.m.: Education just became a much bigger part of the 2016 race for Indiana governor. State Superintendent Glenda Ritz announced her campaign for governor at an event in Indianapolis Thursday morning. The educator spoke first at Ben Davis High School, followed by a series of appearances scheduled around the state, according to her Facebook page. Ritz’s announcement has excited many of those who supported Ritz in her 2012 run for … Continue reading

(Indiana’s) Pence faces bid by Gregg, potential run by Ritz

Democrat John Gregg announced Thursday that he will run for governor, setting up a likely rematch with Gov. Mike Pence, who he narrowly lost to in 2012. By Tom LoBianco 4/30/15 Democrats are lining up to potentially challenge a likely re-election bid by Republican Gov. Mike Pence, whom some see as vulnerable. Pence’s chief opponent from the 2012 campaign, Democrat John Gregg, announced Thursday he would run for governor again. Meanwhile, Pence’s continuing critic since taking office in 2013, Democratic State Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz, announced she is considering … Continue reading

(Indiana) Sen. Dan Coats not running for reelection

The Washington Post By Sean Sullivan 3/24/15 Updated at 12:35 p.m. Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) said Tuesday he will not run for reelection in 2016, a move that could potentially trigger a competitive open-seat race that could become a factor in the battle for the Senate majority. Many political observers expected Coats to seriously consider retiring, so his decision did not come as a complete surprise. In a statement, Coats said he made a difficult but necessary choice. “Today I am announcing that I will not seek reelection to the … Continue reading

Guest column: More than an elected office at stake in attack on Ritz

(Minor editing was done for readability. – Admin.)

John Gregg

John Gregg is a Democrat who served as speaker of the Indiana House and president of Vincennes University.

Special to The
Guest Column
By John Gregg

On a cold January morning in 2001, I stood outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC with my two sons, then ages 8 and 7 to witness the inauguration of President George W. Bush.

As the ceremony began, my older son asked me “Dad why are we here, we’re Democrats?” As the crowd around us looked, then laughed, I told my sons we were there to witness the something uniquely American: the peaceful transfer of power. Americans may disagree with a candidate’s political philosophy, but we always respect the outcome of an election. It’s a bedrock principle of our great democracy.

In November of 2012, I experienced this up close and personal. After a long and hard fought election for governor, Hoosier voters chose Mike Pence over me. And while he certainly wasn’t my first choice, I accepted the decision and respected the will of the majority.

In that same election, Hoosiers made another choice. In very clear fashion, voters said they didn’t like what incumbent Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett was doing to public education in Indiana. They voted him out and voted Glenda Ritz in.

The governor and Republican majority in the Statehouse did not like, nor respect Superintendent Ritz’s hard earned victory. And, while they can’t undo the results of the actual election, through power grab after power grab they are doing essentially the same thing – and that’s not only wrong, it’s dangerous.

If the governor and the Republicans in the General Assembly want to make the superintendent an appointed position or make any other changes to the Department of Education, let’s have a public discussion about them that includes all the interested parties. Ramming these major changes through without public input just because you don’t like the voter’s choice is no way to make sound public policy or instill confidence in state government.

Our country and our system of government works because of that time honored idea of a peaceful transfer of power from one person to the next and, in some cases, one political party to another.  Unlike so many other countries, we don’t have riots, revolutions or violence. We hold faith in the process and the people’s vote.

And when you don’t like the policy or people in a particular office, you don’t attempt a coup or refuse to accept their legitimacy to hold office; you get ready for the next election and work to vote them out.

The tactics on display in the Indiana Statehouse to neuter a duly elected office holder on personal and political grounds are a gross subversion of our most basic democratic principles. And, regardless of your political party or your position on the issues facing Indiana schools, all Hoosiers should also be alarmed.

John Gregg is a Democrat and former speaker of the Indiana House. He’s also a former president of Vincennes University and ran for governor in 2012.

John Gregg, former governor candidate, to drop watermelons New Year’s Eve

John Gregg, candidate for Indiana governor in 2012, is back in the news, this time for a watermelon drop on New Year’s Eve. Tim Swarens, columnist for the Indianapolis Star, writes about this in the Dec. 24th, interjecting that Gregg is “…contemplating another run for governor in 2016.” I first became aware of Gregg when in 1999, without any previous invitation, I testified before the House Rules Committee which Gregg was a member of as well as Speaker of the House. The topic was abuse of executive sessions. In … Continue reading