Jennifer McCormick is running for governor — as a Democrat
Jennifer McCormick has made official what's long been suspected — she's running for governor, as a Democrat.
Driving the news: McCormick announced her campaign at a rally today in New Castle.
- The former school teacher and superintendent formed an exploratory committee late last year and has been hinting at a run for governor on social media.
Catch up fast: McCormick was first elected to statewide office in 2016 as the Republican candidate for superintendent of public instruction.
- Her victory — part of a GOP wave — was an upset when she unseated Democrat Glenda Ritz, the incumbent who'd been backed by the teachers unions.
- Just two years into her four-year term, though, McCormick announced she wouldn't seek re-election.
- By the 2020 election cycle, McCormick started endorsing Democratic candidates.
- She officially changed party affiliation in 2021.
The intrigue: McCormick has become an outspoken critic of Republican party politics — and won over the state's public school teachers in the process.
- With conservative roots that could appeal to right-leaning independents and the excitement of educators who have proven themselves to be a well-organized political machine, McCormick could be an interesting candidate.
Yes, but: Winning a statewide office as a Democrat in Indiana is still a tall order.
- The last time a Democrat won a statewide election was in 2012 when Joe Donnelly defeated Richard Mourdock in the U.S. Senate race and Ritz defeated incumbent Tony Bennett for superintendent.
- Republicans have controlled the governor's office since Mitch Daniels won in 2004.
- Three Republican candidates have already announced — U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and businessman Eric Doden — and they all have a head start on campaigning and fundraising.
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