INDIANAPOLIS ( Feb. 3, 2016) – Republican Gov. Mike Pence and his Democratic opponent John Gregg made their gubernatorial bid official Tuesday.
Both filed paperwork and delivered signatures to the secretary of state’s office to officially be placed on the ballot this fall.
The race will be a rematch of 2012, but a 2016 race that both are promising to be different.
“This campaign is going to be on Mike Pence’s failed record of leadership,” Gregg said.
Pence quickly took note.
“If my opponent decides to talk about my record, I’ll return the favor,” he said.
A looming issue, one that will mostly likely carry with them the entire campaign, is Monday’s quick decision by Senate Republicans that killed legislation that would have added sexual orientation to the state’s civil rights code with a number of religious exemptions.
The move is a strong win for those seeking to protect individual religious freedom, but a big loos for the LGBT community and the economic sector pushing that change.
“This was an issue that was created last year by the governor,” Gregg said. “I don’t blame anybody other than the governor’s office on this issue.”
In response to the legislation not moving forward, Pence said he respected the outcome.
“I think that will be up for the people of Indiana what’s a major issue or not,” he said referring ot the campaign. “For me, I look forward to carrying a positive message all across the state of Indiana.”
House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) said Tuesday he was pleased with the effort put forward by state senators, acknowledging the issue isn’t going away.
“The bill has had nothing but fallout from both directions,” he said. “And yeah there’ll be people on both sides of the argument who are satisfied or dissatisfied just as they were with RFRA, just as they were with the RFRA fix.”
Nether Pence nor Gregg said Tuesday whether they would have signed Senate Bill 344, the one being debated by lawmakers.