State executive primary preview: No surprises in Indiana tomorrow

May 7 2012

By Lauren Rodgers

Gov. Mitch Daniels is prevented by term limits from seeking another term in office.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN: Four state executive offices are up for election in Indiana this year: governorlieutenant governorattorney general and superintendent of public instruction. However, only the governor’s race is on the ballot in the primary election. In Indiana, the two major parties conduct state conventions to nominate candidates for many of the state executive offices, including lieutenant governor, attorney general and superintendent of public instruction.[1]

This year, there is only one candidate running for governor from each of the parties, so you won’t see any surprises or upsets in tomorrow’s results. Indiana’s current governor, Mitch Daniels, is prevented by term limits from seeking another term in office. Two Republican candidates – Congressman Mike Pence and Fishers businessman Jim Wallace – submitted signatures and filed to run for their party’s nomination. But on February 24, 2012, the Indiana Election Commission voted 3-1 to remove Wallace from the May 8 primary ballot. In order to qualify for the ballot, a candidate needs 500 signatures from each of the state’s congressional districts. Wallace fell 14 signatures short of that figure, despite having submitted 1,282 signatures. The Marion County Board of Voter Registration rejected 62% of those signatures leaving Wallace with just 486 signatures from the district.[2][3]

Pence, as the lone Republican now, will meet John Gregg (D),[4] Rupert Boneham (L) and write-in candidate Donnie Harold Harris[5] in the November 6th general election. In Indiana, the governor and lieutenant governor are elected on a single ticket in the general election. Boneham, of Survivor fame, is running with Brad Klopfenstein; Harris has chosen George Fish as his running mate. Pence and Gregg will have to wait until the statewide party conventions to see who will share their ticket in November.

The Republican Party state convention is scheduled for June 9th and the Democratic Party state convention will be held the following week on June 16th. Once those conventions are held, the major party ballots will be set for the attorney general and superintendent of public instruction races, as well. The Democrats have yet to indicate who might be their candidate for attorney general to challenge incumbent Republican Greg Zoeller, but all signs point to Justin Oakley as the likely Democratic challenger to current Republican superintendent Tony Bennett.