Speculation already swirling around Indiana governor race

Indiana Governor Mike Pence
Mike Pence holds a press conference discussing the backlash against the RFRA bill on March 31, 2015. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The 2016 presidential race has gotten a lot of attention this week, as more and more candidates throw their hat into the ring.

But speculation is starting to swirl around another 2016 race closer to home — the race for Indiana governor.

Even though Nov. 2016 is 19 months away, the talk is already getting started. Right now, the focus is still on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and how Gov. Mike Pence handled that situation.

When election time rolls around, experts predict opponents will use all the backlash and its impact on business to draw voters away from Pence. It could also make an impact even sooner than that. “Pence Must Go” signs are already popping up around Indianapolis.

An IU political science professor told 24-Hour News 8 she wouldn’t necessarily be surprised if a Republican candidate challenged Pence in the primary, because of RFRA.

Bill Oesterle made big waves this week on that front. The Angie’s List CEO says he’s stepping down from his role to become more civically involved. Oesterle was extremely outspoken about RFRA, even saying the “fix” wasn’t enough.

As far as the Democrats are concerned, John Gregg is aiming toward a run. Most recently, Gregg has been active in the fight to keep the common construction wage. Former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, currently with Eli Lily, is also being talked about. He too was very clear in is opposition to RFRA.

24-Hour News 8’s Jim Shella also reports House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath is re-considering a decision to stay out of the race.

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