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Indiana Senate leader defends librarian remark about Ritz

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The leader of the Indiana Senate is defending himself against criticism after he referred to Democratic state schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz as a librarian.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long said Thursday that he meant nothing personal against Ritz during a recent call-in show on Fort Wayne station WFWA. Long says he was pointing out that Ritz has faced a learning curve because she hasn’t been a school administrator.

Long’s remark is being used by Ritz supporters as the Republican-dominated Legislature is advancing proposals that would allow appointees of GOP Gov. Mike Pence to replace her as the State Board of Education’s chairman.

Indiana Democratic Chairman John Zody calls Long’s remark condescending.

Ritz was a school librarian before being elected in 2012.