Ritz to make ‘special’ campaign announcement this week

By Max Bomber
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS – The controversial Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz will make a “special” campaign announcement on Thursday – and is widely expected to say she’s running for governor.

Ritz, a Democrat, is scheduled to tour the state and repeat the announcement through Friday. According to Ritz’s Facebook page, the dates are as follows:

Thursday

  • 11 a.m. Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis
  • 2 p.m. Vigo County Public Library in Terre Haute
  • 4 p.m. Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse in Evansville

Friday

  • 11 a.m. Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne
  • 1:30 p.m. Old Courthouse (Second Street Joseph County courthouse) in South Bend
  • 2:15 p.m. Warren G. Harding Elementary School in Hammond

Ritz was the only Democrat elected to a statewide office in 2012. She has been embroiled in a political battle with Republican Gov. Mike Pence since then.

The two have fought over issues with the State Board of Education, standardized testing and what the superintendent’s powers should include.

Until last month, state law had made Ritz the automatic chair of the state board. But Pence recently signed House Bill 1609 into law, which will allow the board to elect its own chair start in 2017. That’s after Ritz’s current term expires.

If she runs for governor, Ritz joins former House Speaker John Gregg, whom Pence narrowly defeated in 2012, and Sen. Karen Tallian of Portage in the Democratic primary.

Last week, House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D- Michigan City, weighed in on the primary saying, Democrats couldn’t afford a “free-for-all primary” that divides the party and hampers its winner’s ability to defeat incumbent Pence.

“That’s the number one priority,” Pelath said.

He said the candidates need to come together with party leaders and settle on a nominee by the end of this year. Taking the race all the way to the May 2016 primary will only cost money and time the party can’t afford, he said.

Max Bomber is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website ran by Franklin College journalism students.

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