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INDIANAPOLIS (June 4, 2015) — She kept the message short but pointed.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz announced her intention to seek the Democratic nomination for governor of Indiana Thursday, citing education and the economy as her focus.

“As the mother of two children that have moved away from Indiana, I know all too well that many of our best and our brightest feel that they do not have the opportunities they need here, and they look to other places to live and raise a family.”

She also cited crime and drug abuse as concerns in many Indiana communities.

“I know the necessity of safe and secure communities. Today in Indiana, state government is growing bigger and more expensive and more removed from the needs of taxpayers while working Hoosiers shoulder more of the state’s tax burden.”

She also hit out at Gov. Mike Pence’s Center for Education and Career Innovation, which he formed in 2013 to oversee education and dissolved in December 2014.

“As someone who has seen politics drive the creation of an entirely new government agency just to take away the authority of the Department of Education, I am well aware of the need to use tax dollars wisely so Hoosiers get the government that they deserve.”

To move Indiana forward, Ritz said her platform would focus on education, jobs, economic revival and community revitalization.

“We need a leader that understands the connection between education and economy rather than simply having a partisan agenda to create more schools,” she said.

Ritz also criticized the state’s divisive Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“No candidate for this or any other office can ignore the disaster made by the current leadership to use religious rights as a divisive political issue during the last session of the General Assembly. 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 made the announcement at Ben Davis High School. It was one of several appearances she’ll make this week during stops across the state, including Vigo, Allen, Vanderburgh, Allen and St. Joseph counties.

Ritz tipped her hand about her gubernatorial aspirations Wednesday when she sent a welcome letter to Circle City IN Pride with a “Ritz for Governor 2016” letterhead. She signed the letter “Candidate for Indiana Governor.”

She joins former gubernatorial candidate John Gregg and state Sen. Karen Tallian from Portage in the Democratic field. Republican Gov. Mike Pence said in May that he’ll announce plans to run for re-election this month.