IN Brief

McCormick campaign hits signature milestone

By: - November 28, 2023 2:17 pm

Jennifer McCormick is traveling the state to announce her bid for governor in 2024. (Casey Smith/Indiana Capital Chronicle)

Democrat Jennifer McCormick said Tuesday she has gathered the required signatures to qualify for the May primary in the race to succeed Gov. Eric Holcomb, who is term-limited and cannot run for the office again.

“We have always believed this campaign is about empowering the voices of Hoosiers, and our strong petition signature collection demonstrates this. The amazing response of Hoosiers across Indiana shows they are ready for new leadership after 20 years of one-party rule of our state government,” McCormick said in a release. “We will continue to collect petition signatures to give voice to the grassroots effort of those who support our campaign. I am grateful for every single Hoosier who has donated to our campaign and signed a petition in support of my candidacy. I am also thankful for each county and congressional district leader and the countless volunteers who championed our signature efforts.”

McCormick’s campaign announced Tuesday that it had hit the milestone, gathering at least 500 signatures from each of the state’s nine congressional districts for a minimum of 4,500 signatures. Candidates cannot submit those signatures until Jan. 10 and all candidates must submit their documentation by Jan. 30.

After that, election officials verify the signatures and determine whether enough have been submitted.

McCormick previously won elected official as a Republican and was the last person elected as the state’s Superintendent of Education. Citing her education background, one of the state’s two teachers’ unions, the American Federation of Teachers, opted to endorse McCormick last week.

The other declared candidate for the Democratic ballot, perennial candidate Bob Kern, has announced just one priority for his campaign: legalizing cannabis. Ohio’s vote to legalize the drug for recreational use makes it the third of Indiana’s neighbors to permit legal, taxable sales while Kentucky has a medical cannabis program — which Indiana doesn’t have either.

The winner of the Democratic primary will face the Republican victor in a race with a handful of heavyweight, well-funded contenders: U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, former Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Fort Wayne businessman Eric Doden, former Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill and the devout Jamie Reitenour.

Braun, Chambers and Doden all have sizable personal fortunes while Crouch has a campaign war chest after decades in elected office — guaranteeing an expensive primary fight.

Of those Republican candidates, Doden has also announced that he’s gathered the requisite signatures.

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Whitney Downard
Whitney Downard

A native of upstate New York, Whitney previously covered statehouse politics for CNHI’s nine Indiana papers, focusing on long-term healthcare facilities and local government. Prior to her foray into Indiana politics, she worked as a general assignment reporter for The Meridian Star in Meridian, Mississippi. Whitney is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University (#GoBonnies!), a community theater enthusiast and cat mom.

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