Interesting partnership creates buzz around Indiana race for governor

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An unusual partnership is creating buzz around the race for governor in 2020.

Democratic candidate Senator Eddie Melton appears to be getting support from a member of current Republican Governor Eric Holcomb’s cabinet.

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick attended Melton’s announcement to run for governor and introduced him at the event.

“It is very unusual,” said University of Indianapolis political science professor Laura Wilson.

She said if McCormick decides to be Senator Melton’s running mate, it could be advantageous to this candidate for governor.

“Having someone like Jennifer McCormick there could appeal to those Republican, maybe more moderate slightly conservative voters who like her, they like what she stands for and see him as an attractive candidate,” said Wilson.

Melton is one of three democrats looking to run against incumbent Governor Holcomb in 2020. His opponents include former state health commissioner Dr. Woody Myers and businessman Josh Owens. Senator Melton said if elected, he will focus on expanding economic growth and opportunity, healthcare and education. Melton also expressed interest in legalizing marijuana, raising the minimum wage, and making college more affordable.

We asked him if McCormick will join his ticket.

“It’s too soon to make a determination on where we will go, but I will know this, that she and I will continue to work together in a bipartisan fashion,” said Senator Melton.

Wilson said voters will let us know if that is a smart move for Melton.

“I think when you look at Hoosier voters, there is a concern about this lack of bipartisanship and how it feels like we have a lot of legislative gridlock,” said Wilson.

We asked Governor Holcomb about the possibility of McCormick joining his opponent.

"Her decisions are her decision alone. I'm going to continue to do my job," said Holcomb. "We are going to continue to enact good policy. We'll see how they do in their intramural competition. They have a long way to go until next May. "

We asked Wilson about Governor Holcomb’s chances for re-election.

“Many Hoosiers may not know who the governor is, but they also don’t dislike him, and that works to his advantage as an incumbent,” said Wilson.

She said whether he will face Senator Melton next November will depend mostly on one thing.

“At the end of the day, money is going to be really influential,” said Wilson.

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