Election 2012: The Hoosier Hot Seat
The Indiana Governor race is an election to watch
This year, the Indiana Governor race is being watched very closely. This is because Indiana has become an even bigger part of the national political conversation. Indiana has traditionally been viewed as a Republican state. But in 2008 it voted Democratic during the presidential race and helped elect Barack Obama President.
After serving two terms as Indiana's Governor, Mitch Daniels will be assuming the role of President at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. This leaves the position open for two native Hoosiers: Republican Mike Pence and Democrat John Gregg.
Both have their reasons for wanting to be Indiana's next Governor.
"I am running for Governor because I love the state, there is nowhere in Indiana I don't feel at home," Pence told the Kids Press Corps. "As a life-long Hoosier, I can think of no higher honor or privilege than serving as governor of Indiana."
Gregg has a different reason for wanting to be elected as Governor.
"I am running for Governor because I believe I have some skills and some abilities that are clearly needed," Gregg told the Kids Press Corps. "Throughout the things that I have done, I have been able to bring people together."
Congressman Pence of Columbus, Indiana, has some very specific plans for Indiana, if he's elected. One of area of particular focus will be to make sure every Hoosier gets the education needed.
"I believe the way that we can accomplish that despite continuing to give students and parents more choices in education, particularly underprivileged kids, is by focusing on giving teachers more freedom and really by finding ways to fund excellence in education so that our best schools and our best teachers are recognized," Pence said.
While Gregg values education, he thinks that it is important to have a Governor that spends most of his time in Indiana and learn what Hoosiers need while doing that.
"I have lived in Indiana. I have been here all of my life," Gregg said. "I haven't been living on the East Coast in Virginia for the past 12 years, and I think that Hoosiers want a Hoosier representative."
But one of Indiana's primary issues is health care, which Pence believes will be improved if he were to become Governor. Many Hoosiers who do not have health care could have better medical treatment. Some deaths that should not have occurred happened to people without health care.
"There is no higher priority than making sure that we promote the health, safety and well being of Hoosier families, especially children," said Pence.
Gregg emphasizes making sure Indiana is a great place for farmers and believes this position makes him more relatable to the average Indiana citizen.
"We live on a farm and one of my sons is at Vincennes University earning his degree in agriculture," Gregg said.
The outcome of this election will provide Indiana with new leadership, and could potentially impact the presidential election.
"When I was growing up, I started to get interested in government and politics when I was an early teen," said Pence. "I encourage every young person in Indiana to do the same."
This is a point both candidates have in common. Both men want kids to take action in politics and believe it sets a foundation for the future.
"It is important for kids to take an interest in politics at an early age so they become involved when they are older," concluded Gregg.
Scholastic News Kid Reporters are on the campaign trail! Keep up with latest election news on the Election 2012 website.
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