The Indiana Chamber of Commerce endorsed Gov. Eric Holcomb in next year's governor's race before it even knew who the Democratic candidate will be.
The news came last week – only the Indiana Chamber's second-ever endorsement in the gubernatorial race. The first time the organization made the call was in 2008 for then-governor Mitch Daniels, who was seeking re-election against Democrat Jill Long Thompson.
“We only make endorsements in statewide races in special circumstances. Governor Holcomb's Next Level agenda has undeniably propelled the state forward in many meaningful ways. His leadership, drive and desire to bring people together to listen and learn have all been extraordinary,” Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar said.
Accomplishments by Holcomb that the chamber hailed include a jobs program for Hoosiers to enroll in free courses to earn a high-demand credential; leading passage of a major infrastructure funding plan; investing $100 million in broadband expansion; and helping Hoosiers battle opioid addiction.
“All Hoosiers deserve access to the gains of Indiana's growing economy – for themselves, their families and their futures. It's all about putting people first,” Holcomb said. “That's why we've worked to expand training opportunities, while also making sure Indiana's environment is primed for what's next. And we're just getting started. I'm honored to accept the Indiana Chamber's endorsement, and I'm excited to work with Hoosier job creators to make sure we keep delivering for Hoosiers.”
Indiana Democrats have three candidates running for governor: Dr. Woody Myers, tech entrepreneur Josh Owens and state Sen. Eddie Melton.
“I'm disappointed the Chamber would reward Holcomb's inaction when educational attainment is slipping backward, especially when the rest of the country is making progress and Indiana employers still can't find skilled workers,” Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody said.
“Leaders take bold action. Eric Holcomb stepped into office standing on third base. He's still standing there.”
House Speaker Brian Bosma chose an interesting way to wrap up his 34th year in the Indiana legislature.
He announced he would not run again and that he would personally groom a speaker-elect in the 2020 session. The maneuver starts to shift control and influence to another member immediately.
Bosma said last week – when announcing Rep. Todd Huston, R-Fishers, was chosen to take over his role in March – that he was advised against the tactic.
“You are dealing power away from yourself,” he said. “But I'm not here to deal power. I'm here to serve and this serves the state best.”
Commissioners' agenda online
The Allen County commissioners have moved to an online agenda management system that officials say will be more efficient and accessible for the public and the media.
Called Peak Agenda, the system automatically publishes the weekly meeting agenda, including any updates made from the time it is first published until the meeting. Those interested can subscribe to an RSS feed of published agendas and receive them via email. Alternatively, people can go to allencounty.us/agenda to check if one has been posted. That feature should be available soon.
Posted agendas will also include the ability to view backup documentation prior to each meeting. That includes contracts, agreements, project descriptions and any other materials submitted to the commissioners.
Trump approval steady in state
President Donald Trump's approval ratings among Hoosier voters held steady in November, when the U.S. House Intelligence Committee was conducting public impeachment hearings, according to pollster Morning Consult.
Morning Consult found that 49% of registered voters in Indiana approved of Trump in November, while 47% disapproved of him. In October, 50% of Hoosiers approved of him, and 46% disapproved.
Morning Consult said that since September, “there has been no statistical change in Trump's net approval rating – the share of registered voters who approve minus those who disapprove – in 37 states, including key 2020 battlegrounds such as Arizona, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.”
Nationally, 43% of 165,468 registered voters approved of Trump in November and 54% disapproved, Morning Consult reported Thursday.
Dave Gong of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.
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