Gov 2012 Watch: Lt. Gov Skillman Out Due to Health Issues, Pence to Announce Plans After January 1

Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve heard that Lt. Governor Becky Skillman is out of the race for Governor.  Here is her statement:

With much disappointment, I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for Governor in 2012.  My end of year physical exam revealed minor health issues.  Nothing will interfere with my devotion to my duties as Lt. Governor, and I plan to continue the same pace as always.  However, it is best to continue without the additional stress of a gubernatorial campaign.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my family, office staff, campaign staff, and many friends and supporters throughout the state who offered great encouragement for my potential candidacy.

I look forward to the next two years of service with enthusiasm, particularly the up-coming legislative session, as Governor Mitch and I work every day to move our state forward.

Eric Bradner from the Courier-Press has a statement from Pence spokesperson Matt Lloyd saying an announcement regarding Pence’s intentions will come after January 1 and that,”Congressman Pence believes that the focus today should be on the lieutenant governor, her health and her long career of distinguished service to the state of Indiana.”

We at WSP send our best wishes to Lt. Governor Skillman.   We agree with Governor Mitch Daniels statement: “Becky would have made a superb governor, ready in every respect and Hoosier to her core.”

Governor’s Race Update from Both Sides of the Aisle

Mary Beth Schneider has an interesting piece in today’s Indy Star on the covering both sides of the aisle on the upcoming Governor’s race.   

On the Republican side, most everyone is waiting to see what Congressman Mike Pence will do—besides Lt. Governor Becky Skillman that is. Skillman said Pence is a “good conservative, but my decision will not be dependent upon what others do.”  That is the most polite way of saying “I am not getting out of this race for you” that we have ever heard. 

Still though, most of the establishment crowd is clearly waiting for Pence to get in or out of the race before deciding who to support.  And Skillman still won’t quite be out of the woods even if Pence decides not to run as many others have been mentioned to run if Pence does not.  That list includes State Party Chairman Murray Clark and State Auditor Tim Berry to name a few.

Unless Governor Daniels steps in, Lt. Governor Skillman likely will be running as the non-establishment candidate.  At this point, the Governor has asked everyone to stand down throughout the legislative session and said, “”I think I’m going to practice what I preach and leave politics aside for a little while.” 

On the Democrat side, there is another waiting game as they wait to see what Senator Evan Bayh will do.  Bayh has said running for Governor is a possibility but not a probability.  That said, if he decides to run, the field will be completely cleared. 

While there are some in the Democrat Party who are a bit agitated with the way Bayh backed out of the Senate race causing them lose not only his Senate seat but the 8th Congressional District and a seat in the State House, Former Democrat Speaker John Gregg said, “all those people who are saying this and that will be right back in line.”

In the case that Bayh does not run, speculation is centered on Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel, former Congressman Baron Hill and Congressman Joe Donnelly.   Another name that was mentioned and really shocked us was Brad Ellsworth.  We would think Democrats would be running from the idea of an Ellsworth ticket after the disastrous results for this year’s U.S. Senate race.  John Gregg is pulling for Evan Bayh to get in the race but would not rule out throwing his hat in the ring if Bayh doesn’t get in.

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