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Gov. Holcomb Joins Kids In Backing Say’s Firefly For State Insect

Students from West Lafayette's Cumberland and Happy Hollow Elementary Schools listen to Gov. Eric Holcomb lay out his priorities for 2018, which include taking up their cause of naming Say's Firefly Indiana's official state insect.

A group of West Lafayette elementary school students who’ve spent years lobbying lawmakers to honor a state insect just got a powerful ally.

Governor Eric Holcomb says he’ll join them in advocating for the Say’s Firefly once the 2018 legislative session starts in January.

It’s one of many items on the governor’s list of so-called “Next Level” priorities that he rolled out earlier this month in events around the state. He took time to thank some of the students in teacher Maggie Samudio’s class who’ve backed the bug for the last several years.

“All the credit will be due to your focus and sharing and educating and testifying,” Holcomb told the kids.

Samudio says it’s another lesson for her students in perseverance.

“You know, you never know until you try,” she says. “And these children are optimistic and they don’t take no for an answer.”

Holcomb even yielded the microphone to Kayla Xu, who’s spent most of her elementary school years spearheading the push to make Say’s Firefly the state insect.

The bioluminescent creature is named after naturalist Thomas Say, who identified it in 1824 near the Southern Indiana town of New Harmony.

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