Daniels puts speculation to rest, says he won’t run for governor
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Don’t expect Mitch Daniels to leave Purdue University in order to run the state of Indiana.
Daniels released a statement saying he wouldn’t step forward as a candidate or accept the nomination if offered. With Gov. Mike Pence emerging as the frontrunner for Donald Trump’s running mate in the presidential race, Pence couldn’t run for reelection, meaning the Republican Party would have to find a new nominee.
Some members of the party hoped that nominee would be Daniels, who served two terms as Indiana’s governor before becoming president of Purdue University. Daniels said Thursday the party will have to look for another nominee.
“Ordinarily, it’s neither necessary nor good practice to comment on hypothetical questions. But this year and the current political situation in Indiana is extraordinary to say the least. So I think it is appropriate that I make plain today that, should there be a sudden need to name a new nominee for governor, I will not present myself as a candidate nor would I accept the nomination if offered.
“Over the last few days, I have been importuned to do so by a large number and wide variety of people I respect deeply. They include those now on the Indiana Republican ticket, those responsible nationally for supporting both gubernatorial and Senatorial campaigns, and a host of Hoosier citizens, many of whom I know and many more I was hearing from for the first time. An apparent majority of the Republican State Committee has offered its support, as have several of the good people who will now become candidates if the vacancy does in fact occur.
“I told each such person that I was highly unlikely to return to elective politics, but that out of respect for them I would take a couple days to reflect on their appeal. We had all been led to believe that we would know by now if a new nominee would actually be needed, but as that has not happened I think it best to make my decision known now.
“I told the people of our state repeatedly that I believe in citizen service, and that if hired as governor I would give the job my full attention and best effort and then return to private life. I told the people of Purdue that I would fulfill wholeheartedly the duties of this post, a commitment I reaffirmed in accepting an extended contract just a year ago. I was raised to live up to commitments and not to leave tasks incomplete.
“My reasons for this decision are entirely positive. I love Purdue, its students, staff, and alumni. I believe that good things are occurring at our university and am enthusiastic about pursuing them further. It does matter immensely to me that Indiana’s strong progress over the last decade continue. Just this week, CNBC named ours the #1 infrastructure in the nation, and reaffirmed our top status for economic investment. I hope that whoever leads us for the next four years will succeed in extending these and so many other gains, and in building our new reputation as an innovative, vanguard state. I’ll try to see that Purdue, and I personally if asked to do so, play a role in that success.”