He’ll fit right in at the Clark County Fair this evening, crunching the grass with his trademark boots as he shakes another hand. Those are his constituents, after all, and would-be voters he’s courting.
He is Indiana’s top elected official, Gov. Eric Holcomb, who is seeking re-election in 2020. The public announcement of his intention was made Saturday, as his words echoed off the walls of the hallowed Knightstown gym, where parts of the famed-film "Hoosiers" was shot.
Holcomb has more than $6 million in his political war chest, more than any previous governor at this point in his re-election bid, according to the Holcomb for Indiana campaign.
So far, Dr. Woody Myers, former state health commissioner under Govs. Robert Orr and Evan Bayh, is the lone Democrat mounting a gubernatorial challenge. But at least two other Democrats — state Rep. Karlee Macer, Indianapolis, and state Sen. Eddie Melton, Gary — are considering running. No challenger has yet to emerge from within the GOP ranks, but anything is possible in politics.
Not widely known before the last election, Holcomb rode a Republican wave into office. Since arriving, though, he has gained respect as a thoughtful, effective leader. Democrats will have their work cut out for them if they hope to take back the keys to the governor’s mansion.
It’s true there’s nothing flashy about the governor except his megawatt smile, but he’s got down-home appeal Hoosiers appreciate.
At this point, Holcomb appears likely to win a second term as governor, but the campaign season is a long one. Now’s the time to listen closely to what the candidates have to say — not about their opponents, but about the future of Indiana.
Tonight, Holcomb’s bringing his message first to the fair and then to the Calumet Club in New Albany, where he’ll be talking with Republicans and stumping for the GOP mayoral candidate.
Republican or Democrat, we all should listen to what the governor has to say, and to his opponent. Only then can we make informed voting decisions.
— Susan Duncan is the editor of the News and Tribune. Reach her at email@example.com and 812-206-2130.