Indiana major party delegates formalize state executive tickets
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana: In Indiana, the two major parties conduct state conventions to nominate candidates for lieutenant governor, attorney general and superintendent of public instruction. The Republican and Democratic state conventions took place on June 9 and June 16, respectively.
Though candidates for governor are elected via primary elections, Republican and Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor are confirmed at the party nominating conventions. Each of the candidates announced their running mates on May 22, so the conventions were mere formalities for the lieutenant governor seat.
- See also: Indiana attorney general election, 2012
Republican incumbent Attorney General Greg Zoeller kicked off his 2012 re-election campaign at the Statehouse on May 18. Weeks later, Republican convention delegates officially nominated him for a second term. Zoeller is running on his first term performance serving as the state's chief legal counsel. Since first elected to the office in 2008, he has successfully defended challenges to laws combating illegal immigration, "approving school vouchers, fighting illegal immigration and defunding Planned Parenthood." He was also among the group of state attorneys general who took part in the arguments against Obamacare before the U.S. Supreme Court this year.
One week after Zoeller's nomination, Indiana Democrats held their own convention, at which delegates confirmed the rumored candidacy of attorney Kay Fleming for attorney general. Fleming currently practices at her own law firm in Indianapolis. She has clerked for two federal judges and previously served as the first attorney for the Indiana Gaming Commission.
Upon receiving the nomination, Fleming said she could make the office run more efficiently and tackle pressing issues: "I think the children, the DCS system, needs an overhaul. Education system needs and overhaul." She also cited constituent reports of the Do-Not-Call list failing to deliver as promised as a reason for challenging the current leadership, despite thinking that Zoeller "is doing good job."
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Republican Tony Bennett is seeking a second term as Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. He secured his party's nomination at the state convention on June 9, while veteran educator and union leader Glenda Ritz received the Democratic Party nomination at their convention on June 16. Third-party candidates have until July 2 to file.
In the run-up to the conventions, teacher Justin Oakley was seeking the Democratic nod, campaigning for the last seven months. However, he withdrew from the race on June 2, stating, "The powers that be and the teacher's union chose to go with another candidate they felt was the better choice."
On June 14, gubernatorial candidate John Gregg (D) offered his endorsement of Ritz, saying she "has been at the forefront of the fight here in Indiana to protect public education." Ritz is a plaintiff in a lawsuit to block a private school voucher program passed by Republicans in 2011 and says the state needs less "high-stakes testing."
Bennett defeated Democrat Richard D. Wood to win election in 2008 by a margin of 51 to 49 percent, a difference of 51,140 votes.
- Indiana state executive official elections, 2012
- Indiana attorney general election, 2012
- Indiana down ballot state executive elections, 2012
- Indiana gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2012
- Indiana Code, IC 3-8-4-1, accessed May 1, 2012
- IndyStar.com, "In Indiana, both Republican, Democratic gubernatorial candidates pick female running mates," May 22, 2012
- NWITimes, "Indiana Republicans pass party torch to Pence," June 9, 2012
- Associated Press, "Indiana AG Zoeller announces re-election bid," May 19, 2012
- Indiana News Center, "Democrats meet their nominees," June 16, 2012
- Greenfield Reporter, "Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller kicks off re-election bid for state's top lawyer," May 18, 2012
- NWI Times, "Indiana Republicans pass party torch to Pence," June 9, 2012
- WISHTV, "Ind. Democrats pick nominees for top jobs," June 17, 2012
- Indy Democrat, "Justin Oakley Drops Out of Superintendent of Public Instruction Race," June 2, 2012
- Kokomo Perspective, "Gregg Endorses Glenda Ritz for Superintendent of Public Instruction," June 14, 2012
- Courier Press, "Indianapolis educator launches bid for state school superintendent," June 14, 2012
- Indiana Elections Division, "2008 general election results," accessed December 10, 2011