Despite constant clashes with Gov. Mike Pence over the last two years, State Superintendent Glenda Ritz says her decision to run for governor isn’t personal; it’s because of significant differences with Pence over how to move Indiana forward.
Ritz Thursday officially became the third person to enter the Democratic primary, calling herself the “best candidate” to beat the governor.
She says she made the decision to challenge Pence after this past legislative session, pointing to efforts to strip power from the Department of Education and shift it to the GOP-controlled State Board of Education. She also cited what she calls the “disaster” created by Republican leadership over the religious freedom restoration act.
“We must respect the personal and civil rights of all of Indiana’s citizens and bring forward legislation that respects the rights of all Hoosiers,” Ritz said.
The current state superintendent will face off in the primary against former House speaker John Gregg and longtime state Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage. And the State Superintendent says, despite spending most of her career in the education arena, she has quite a bit of knowledge in a variety of areas.
“As my campaign unfolds, you’ll see a great many topics…policy pieces written,” Ritz says. “I plan to talk to Hoosiers all over the state of Indiana to gather input.”
In a statement, state Republican Party Chair Jeff Cardwell roundly criticized Ritz, saying she “doesn’t have a successful track record of leading those in her own department, let alone managing contracts or implementing effective policies.”