My fellow Hoosiers (and all Americans, for that matter):
As you know, in the wake of Governor Mike Pence’s nomination to join Donald Trump’s ticket the Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States, an interesting opportunity has presented itself. The Republican Party of the State of Indiana needs a new nominee to run for Governor. Several established candidates have announced their intentions to seek this nomination. And party leaders are supposed to gather Tuesday morning. They will decide Governor Pence’s on the ballot this November. And now that Governor Pence has thrown his support behind Lt. Governor Holcomb, it makes many wonder if the decision has already been made.
Nevertheless, there is still hope. There is still time for someone to swoop in at the last-minute and make a compelling case that he or she should be the Republican nominee. It would make sense for this person to be an outsider with no political baggage to weigh down a campaign that would have to hit the ground running. There’s very little time between now and November. It would have to take someone who is passionate about Indiana and can clearly communicate his or her ideas in a concise, memorable way. There is a chance that this kind of outsider could sway the voting public.
I love our state. And I love our people. I even love the people with whom I fundamentally disagree – both on the Right and the Left. When you count Summer jobs, I have lived in five different states over the past 30 years. Nothing against the fine citizens of those other states, but Hoosiers always have been and always will be my favorite people. That’s why we moved back to Indiana ten years ago. And that’s why we plan on staying here for a long time.
I’m an outsider.
I have leadership experience.
I love Indiana.
I have thought long and hard about this. I have bounced the idea off of family and friends. I have prayed about it with open eyes, ears, and an open heart. I even threw the question out there on social media several times. Thank you to the tens of people who answered my unofficial poll. Your encouragement strengthened my resolve.
Now, more than ever, we need to continue to seek new, strong, empowering leaders who are not part of the political machine. We need a fresh batch of political outsiders who remember what it’s like to be Jack and Diane Hoosier. And we need strong servant leadership.
I’ve taken all of this into consideration and have come to a solid conclusion.
I will not be seeking the 2016 Republican nomination for Governor of the State of Indiana.
That’s right. I’ve decided to side with #NoMattNo instead of #GoMattGo. I’m sorry if this disappoints you. But it’s the right thing to do for our State. It’s the right thing to do for my family. And those are the most important things when considering a decision like this one.
I’m sorry if this disappoints you. But it’s really the best decision for this election cycle. While I”m convinced that I’m not the right person for this position at this time, don’t rule me out in 2020, though. Who knows where I’ll show up on the ballot. Or maybe, more importantly, where will you show up on the ballot? Because one or two people cannot do it alone. If you’re disappointed in the candidate choices this year, then do something about it! Encourage people to run. Consider throwing your own hat in the ring. Choose people who are going to represent us, not the special interests. Support candidates you want to vote for instead of fighting against candidates you want to vote against.
I’m sure my Democrat and Republican friends will be upset with this, but don’t limit your choices to just one party. Consider a split ticket. Or maybe even consider a Third Party candidate or two. Don’t let the Establishment fool you. Remember, a vote for a “third party” candidate is not throwing your vote away.
My fellow Hoosiers, we need unity, not division. I firmly believe that the best days of Indiana are ahead of us. I am also convinced that we will not reach our fullest potential unless we figure out ways to work together. Perhaps the presence of more than two parties will require everyone to work together.
Because it’s only when we’re united that Indiana will truly be a state that works.