canada africa partner reservation Despite Indiana’s strong reputation for second-in-command, they have never held the highest office

Despite Indiana’s strong reputation for second-in-command, they have never held the highest office

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Indiana is one of eighteen states that has never had a female governor

According to the Rutgers Center for American Women in Politics, Indiana is one of 18 states that have never elected a woman as governor, while four of the state’s last five lieutenant governors have been women. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jennifer McCormick will face an uphill battle against U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, who convincingly defeated Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch in the competitive and expensive GOP primary this week.

The day after his victory, Braun announced state Rep. Julie McGuire as his choice for lieutenant governor. If party delegates support her, McGuire will become Indiana’s newest female runner-up.

“Braun is likely to be the next governor, and McGuire’s selection continues that legacy,” said Laura Merrifield Wilson, a political science professor at the University of Indianapolis. “Always lieutenant governor – that’s a woman. But never a woman. governor.”

Just two years ago, McGuire unseated Republican John Jacob, who angered members of his party in part by repeatedly pushing outright bans on abortion. Indiana law only allows abortions in rare and limited circumstances.

Running with a woman on his ticket also gives Braun a “faith of diversity,” Wilson said, as well as partial credibility against potential attacks from McCormick, his Democratic opponent. But it won’t get him many votes in November, Wilson said.

Influential Republicans are beginning to rally behind Braun and his choice, though McGuire faces an unusual lieutenant governor campaign from a conservative pastor from Noblesville ahead of the June 15 GOP convention. Delegates usually choose the gubernatorial candidate.

A strongly conservative lawmaker himself, McGuire’s policies demonstrate a focus on education. Braun, who transitioned to national politics in 2018, likely selected McGuire because of her recent experience as a lawmaker and her connections in the field, Wilson said.

The lieutenant governor has little constitutional power, but is first in the line of succession if the governor is unable to fulfill the duties of the office. The lieutenant governor oversees four state agencies and ceremonially presides over the Senate.

Kathy Davis was the first woman to hold this post. Democratic Governor Joe Kernan, who took over as lieutenant governor after his predecessor died in office, appointed her in 2003.

Davis was on Kernan’s ticket in 2004 when they lost to Republican Mitch Daniels and his running mate Becky Skillman. Skillman considered running for governor at the end of Daniels’ second term, but declined at the time, citing “minor health concerns.”

“Once I said I wasn’t doing it, I made peace with it,” Skillman told the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette in 2019. “My saddest moment was that I might have let a lot of women down.”

Skillman’s departure left a clear path to the gubernatorial nomination for Mike Pence in 2012 alongside Sue Ellspermann. But she resigned before the end of their first term and Pence appointed Eric Holcomb as lieutenant governor. Holcomb succeeded Pence and is completing his second and final term in the governor’s office.

Crouch’s bid for governor this year may be the closest Indiana has ever come to placing a woman in the state’s highest office. She was considered the likely runner-up for the entire race thanks to her name recognition and statewide fundraising.

Even as she cast herself as a political outsider, Crouch relied on her decades-long career in public office, including two terms in Holcomb’s administration. She rarely invoked her gender in her bid.

Crouch said in a recent interview that she has seen women’s visibility in government fluctuate. She became auditor in 2014 and women held the majority of elected positions statewide for the next eight years.

But she noted that there are still meetings where she is the only woman in the room and that about a quarter of Indiana lawmakers are women.

“People would be better served if our government reflected our people,” she told The Associated Press before Tuesday’s primary.