IN Focus: Myers, Lawson on race for governor, coronavirus crisis

Politics

INDIANAPOLIS — Presumptive Democratic nominee for Governor Dr. Woody Myers appeared on this week’s edition of IN Focus with his newly announced running mate, former Indiana State Representative Linda Lawson, who represented Northwest Indiana in the state legislature for 20 years.

“Choosing a Lieutenant Governor is a critical task and I did not take it lightly,” Myers said. “Linda brings not only legislative experience and leadership, but also she has broken the glass ceiling numerous times. Indiana needs her intelligence and grit now more than ever and I’m honored she has agreed to be my partner on the ticket.”

Lawson was chosen as Minority Leader in 2012, the first woman leader of an Indiana House caucus.

She was also the first female police officer on the Hammond Police Department serving as a patrol officer and member of the sex crimes and domestic violence units, and later became captain.

Myers said Lawson is also a staunch supporter of Indiana public schools and served on the Hammond School Board for 12 years.

Lawson has been active in Brown County politics where she moved after retiring from the legislature and the police department.

“I was happy in the gorgeous southern Indiana countryside and keeping my hand in politics. But, I knew I still had a lot more to do for the people of Indiana,” said Lawson. “When Woody approached me, I was intrigued by the thought of helping Indiana recover from the coronavirus and its economic fallout. I spent several terms on the employment committee in the legislature and know that there will be important issues to deal with over the next few years as a result of the pandemic. The more we talked, the more I realized this was the right thing for me to do.”

Lawson’s selection will be affirmed by delegates at the Indiana Democratic Party State Convention which will be held virtually on June 13.

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody said, “Linda Lawson is a fighter. In law enforcement and at the Statehouse, she was a trailblazer and a steadfast advocate on issues like pay equity and for victims of domestic violence. Lawson brings a knowledge of the Statehouse that is second to none. In Rep. Lawson, Woody Myers gains an experienced lawmaker and a partner ready to lead on day one.”

Jake Oakman, communications director for the Indiana Republican Party said in a statement, “I guess someone had to do it. Indiana has the best lieutenant governor in the nation with Suzanne Crouch, our first and only choice.”

In recent days, Myers has been critical of the state’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

The candidate issued a statement Friday after the state announced 600 new positive cases of COVID-19 from the day before.

“The increase in cases is concerning as Indiana reopens businesses and restaurants with restrictions and eases social distancing guidelines,” Myers said. “I’ve been concerned that Governor Holcomb was giving in to pressure and reopening too soon. The rise in cases shows that fear was justified. We are far from flattening the curve.”

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