Democrats are looking for a gubernatorial candidate in Indiana, where Rep. Mike Pence is expected to run on the Republican side. They just received news that the lefties at Swing State Project characterize as “a major, and unexpected, bummer.“
Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel has opted not to seek the Democratic nomination for Indiana governor in 2012 because, he said, the rigors of a statewide campaign are too much right now while his children are young… His decision leaves Democrats without one of their top recruits, and means the party must now begin focusing on a list of candidates that includes U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly and former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg. Gregg had urged Weinzapfel to run and had said publicly he’d support the Evansville mayor. But Gregg also has not ruled out a potential campaign of his own. “John Gregg’s a dear friend, and I think he would be a great candidate and a great governor if he should win. If he decided he wanted to run, I would be as supportive as I could,” Weinzapfel said. He also mentioned Donnelly, former U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth, who has a statewide profile after a failed Senate bid in 2010, and former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill as possible candidates. Weinzapfel said he is not personally encouraging any of them to run.