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Governor’s race gaining attention due to contested Lt. Governor positions

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Posted at 5:44 PM, Jun 21, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — The race for governor is gaining a lot of attention, not for the names at the top of the ticket but for their picks for lieutenant governor.

Micah Beckwith, an ultra-conservative pastor from Hamilton County, was chosen at the Indiana GOP convention for Lt. Governor. He was not republican gubernatorial nominee Mike Braun’s pick, which is something political experts in Indiana say is uncommon.

PREVIOUS | Indiana GOP upset Braun’s choice for lieutenant governor, backing far-right pick (wrtv.com)

"Historically, this is more of a rubber stamp sort of thing,” Dr. Greg Shufeldt, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Indianapolis, said. “Where the gubernatorial nominee of each party identifies who they want to be their running mate, and this is largely approved at the convention."

According to Shufeldt, Indiana is one of 10 states where voters don't elect the lieutenant governor during the primary. Instead, delegates make the selection at each party's state convention.

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Delegates are elected by voters but oftentimes people don’t even know they are on the ballot.

“There are a handful of names that you probably don't know, they probably have not been campaigning or contacted you,” Shufeldt said. “They are being selected to represent the part at this. Many times, they are elected officials, many times they are long time part activists."

On the democratic ticket, gubernatorial nominee Jennifer McCormick has selected Terry Goodin as her running mate.

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However, the pick is controversial due to Goodin's voting record as a state representative for 20 years on LGBTQ rights and abortion issues.

He has said his opinions have changed on those topics, but he faces two challengers, potentially three if Sen. JD Ford runs for the position.

READ MORE | Jennifer McCormick endorses Terry Goodin as Democratic lieutenant gov. nominee (wrtv.com)

The two people that are currently running are former Indianapolis mayoral candidate Cliff Marsiglio and Bobby Kern, who is well known in Indiana Democratic circles.

"I think we are seeing a democratic party right now that is trying to figure out what its strategy to come back to relevance in the state,” Shufeldt said.

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The Democratic State Convention will take place July 13.