(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Democrat John Gregg has entered the gubernatorial race, joining Republican Mike Pence so far in seeking to succeed Governor Mitch Daniels in the 2012 election.
The former state House Speaker, who filed for an exploratory committee Monday, told listeners at an Indianapolis farmers market Monday he thinks he can win.
“Hoosiers are tired of the divisive politics we’ve seen so much of lately, especially when so many of our friends and neighbors have been left behind in this economic recession,” he said during his announcement. “It will take all of us – Republicans and Democrats; rural and urban; Millennials and their grandparents – to forge a path that brings jobs back to Indiana.”
With no other Democrats having yet declared, Gregg, 56, would run unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
Most experts believe the Republican candidate will be Congressman Mike Pence, who recently told supporters he was running after first considering a run for President.
Pence said he considers Gregg a friend, despite political differences.
“I like him. I’m sure there will continue to be strong philosophical differences between us,” Pence said.
“It’s going to be filled with optimism, and it’s going to be a happy campaign, because a happy campaign is a winning campaign,” Gregg said.
Gregg was Speaker of the Indiana House from 1996 until he retired in 2002. Since then he has been an interim president of Vincennes University and attorney with lawfirm Bingham McHale.
Indiana Democrats say Gregg will bring bi-partisanship to the state’s leadership following a divisive 2011 General Assembly.
“Now more than ever, Indiana desperately needs leadership that will focus on jobs and our ailing economy in a way that brings Hoosiers together instead of leaving them divided,” said Indiana Democrat Party Chairman Dan Parker.