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Jennifer McCormick announces run for Indiana governor

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Jennifer McCormick, who served four years as the state’s superintendent of public instruction, has announced her run for governor of Indiana.

The announcement comes four months after McCormick hinted on Facebook that she was considering a run for governor in 2024 as a Democrat.

Formal campaign filing for the 2024 election begins Jan. 10.

McCormick launched the campaign in her hometown of New Castle. She indicated education will play a central role in her campaign, saying she supports universal pre-kindergarten and post-high school job training and education.

She also cited a need for safe streets. When News 8 asked what she meant by that, she referenced last year’s passage of a permitless concealed carry law over the objections of the superintendent of the Indiana State Police.

“We need to listen to those who are in that arena and make sure they have a voice,” she said. “We have to rely on partners that will help us get to common-sense policies that will help us move forward.”

McCormick said mental health will play a role in her public safety plan as well. She said this year’s work by the General Assembly was a good start but didn’t go far enough. Moreover, she said state leaders need to do a better job of ensuring health and safety initiatives are adequately funded.

Republican Party response

In a statement released after McCormick’s announcement, the Indiana Republican Party called attention to her 2021 decision to switch parties.

“With her campaign launch today, Democrat Jennifer McCormick has decided to continue her well-known streak of misleading Hoosiers,” Chair Kyle Hupfer said. “But they have come to know that’s just who she is — someone who will say or do anything to get elected.”

Asked whether her decision to switch parties might make it harder to win over voters, McCormick replied the issue doesn’t come up in her conversations with them.

Statement from McCormick

In a statement Thursday, McCormick said she’s running for governor because Indiana’s political leaders “have lost sight of the challenges they were elected to solve.”

“They are defunding and politicizing our schools, burdening us with the nation’s highest gas tax, taking our rights away, and standing by as we pay the highest health care costs in the nation. It’s time for a leader who will put Hoosier’s first. Together, we can restore common sense and put an end to the divisiveness that’s pulling our state backward.”

McCormick also says her previous statehouse experience will help provide a solid foundation for a term as governor. In 2016, she was elected as the 44th and final state superintendent of public instruction, before the Indiana legislature changed the office to an appointed one.

McCormick is currently the only Democrat candidate to formally announce a run for governor, while several others have announced interest in the role.

With Gov. Eric Holcomb unable to run for another term, several Republicans have already announced their 2024 campaigns, including Sen. Mike Braun, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, and businessman Eric Doden.

Visit her website to learn more about McCormick’s campaign.