Democrat Gregg to run for governor in 2016; Ritz mulls bid

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The 2016 race for governor of Indiana began Thursday, and it’s no coincidence that it is the first day following the 2015 General Assembly.

For any politician it makes sense to wait until lawmakers go home before you declare your intentions. For one thing, state law prohibits fundraising during the General Assembly.

Democrat John Gregg didn’t wait long, releasing a web video Thursday afternoon declaring his candidacy for governor in 2016.

“I’ll be a governor who stays focused on education and rebuilding Indiana’s economy,” he said in the video.

Gregg hopes to take on Republican Gov. Mike Pence in a rematch of the 2012 race.

But there was a lot of 2016 talk at the Statehouse as another Democrat, Glenda Ritz, announced that, once the school year ends, she will consider a bid for governor.

“After that I’m going to sit down with my family and determine what is best for the children and the families in Indiana,” said Ritz, “and I’ll give you more information about that in June.”

And the governor indicated that he has given up thoughts of higher office in 2016.

“We’ve been certainly preparing to seek re-election over the last two years,” Pence said, “but I will tell you that the morning after the session of the General Assembly my focus is on completing the work.”

It’s a day to send political signals and kick off fundraising efforts.

And the field for governor could grow on both sides before 2016 —  in large part, because Pence is considered vulnerable as a result of his handling of the RFRA controversy.

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