AP NEWS

Gregg tabbed as nominee

June 19, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS – About 2,100 Democrats gathered in Indianapolis on Saturday to rally for what could be a bruising fall election season.

Three statewide candidates were officially nominated at the State Democratic Convention, but the group most enthusiastically cheered its candidate for governor: John Gregg.

He promised to work for the kids and leave Indiana better than he found it.

“That is the job of a governor. That is the job that I want. That is the job that Mike Pence has not done. That is the job that Mike Pence no longer deserves,” Gregg said. “He’s had his chance; we cannot stand him for four more years.”

Gregg faces Pence in a repeat of the 2012 race, but this time Pence has four years in office and a controversial record on equality. In his favor is a state with record job growth.

U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, D-7th, tried to address the divide between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters as Clinton is poised to take the Democratic nomination for president despite Sanders amassing a number of state wins, including Indiana.

Carson has pledged his support to Clinton and asked the delegates to help her break the highest glass ceiling and make Clinton the 45th president.

But he also spoke to “my brothers and sisters who are feeling the Bern” about how Sanders has pushed the conversation in important ways.

But Carson said Democrats can’t let their disagreements and divisions pave the way to “elect a demagogue or narcissist.”

The statewide ballot now officially includes Democrat Glenda Ritz, who is seeking a second term against Republican Jennifer McCormick for superintendent of public instruction.

And former judge Lorenzo Arredondo will take on Republican Prosecutor Curtis Hill for attorney general.

State Rep. Christina Hale, D-Indianapolis, is running for lieutenant governor alongside Gregg. Pence’s running mate is Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Libertarians Rex Bell and Karl Tatgenhorst are running as governor and lieutenant governor respectively.

“Little did I realize how strong I would have to be to stand up for public education,” Ritz said in her acceptance speech – alluding to partisan attempts to take power away from her and the Department of Education.

“I am running for re-election as state superintendent because Indiana needs someone in the education debate who is focused on our children, on our schools, on our communities and on our state.”

She proposed getting rid of giving schools’ A-F rankings, saying the state is inappropriately labeling the kids themselves.

Arredondo said he wouldn’t waste taxpayer dollars by filing lawsuits the state can’t win and promised to work with prosecutors to address the meth and heroin epidemic.

He is the 10th child of immigrant parents who came seeking the American dream.

Arredondo served as Lake County Circuit Court judge for more than three decades before retiring in 2010. While attending law school at the University of San Francisco, Arredondo was a co-founder of the Hispanic National Bar Association in October 1971.

During her acceptance speech, Hale said Pence has a “compulsion to tell people who to love, what to do with their bodies and where to go to the bathroom.”

She said she and Gregg will focus on hard work, honest conversations and getting things done.

Earlier, several resolutions offered by Bernie Sanders’ supporters dealt with the controversial topic of superdelegates. But they were defeated in committee.

That led to a bit of a kerfuffle among the 2,100 delegates. First there were motions to read every word of the resolutions that were approved – something that would have delayed the proceedings.

That motion was defeated. Then another motion was to read only the titles of the resolutions that were defeated. Eventually they were read though the titles weren’t descriptive.

Because the resolutions were not approved, they were not made available to the media.

In general, Sanders’ supporters believe having super­delegates takes the power from the people who vote and instead gives it to party officials who are able to cast their own votes, no matter the primary and caucus results.

Sanders won Indiana but will likely have fewer Indiana delegate votes at the Democratic National Convention after the superdelegates weigh in. Seven of Indiana’s nine superdelegates are publicly committed to Clinton.

nkelly@jg.net