Candidates for governor speak at IUPUI forum

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Tuesday night for the first time, all three Indiana gubernatorial candidates addressed the same audience.

Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, John Gregg, and Rex Bell spoke in a forum at IUPUI.

Since Governor Mike Pence ended his bid for re-election to join Donald Trump’s ticket, the race for governor has taken a dramatic turn.

IUPUI Political Science Assoc. Professor Dr. Ramla Bandele is curiously watching the gubernatorial race’s progress.

It’s a unique year for all the candidates who she feels are relatively unknown.

“Even though Gregg has more name recognition, and that’s really important name recognition, than Holcomb, neither of them are very well known in the state,” she said.

Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb joined very late as a replacement for Mike Pence.

The rematch of Gregg versus Pence disappeared.

“Took the air out of the race, there’s nothing interesting anymore,” she said.

The candidates are just two months from the election and trying to increase their visibility among voters at events like a forum Tuesday night at IUPUI.

They all spoke on a variety of issues, like education.

Gregg wants government organized Pre-K.

“We can do a full day prekindergarten program without increasing taxes,” he said.

Bell said if someone wants prekindergarten it should be voluntary and run by private industry.

“It’s not so much that I’m opposed to Pre-K, as I’m opposed to government being involved in Pre-K,” he said.

Holcomb spoke more broadly about leaning on community partnerships to advance education in the state.

“It calls for this close alignment between the business community, our schools, philanthropic interests as well,” he said.

The candidates were not asked about each other or their strategies for the upcoming election.

The first actual debate between the candidates takes place in a few weeks in Indianapolis.

There will be three debates total before the election.

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