Ritz says she’s the one to beat Pence

Ritz shakes hands with supporters before an announcement in Fort Wayne on June 5, 2015 regarding her campaign for governor.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) “I feel strongly that I’m the person to beat Mike Pence,” said current state superintendent Glenda Ritz at a Fort Wayne stop while campaigning for the 2016 governor race.

Ritz officially announced in Indianapolis Thursday that she was running for governor. Confident, Ritz stood outside the Allen County Public Library Friday morning and spoke to supporters. She told the group she would work to provide better early childhood education and said ethics would be a priority for her administration.

“I’m the person that’s going to be able to have the policy to implement and take action on the items I talked about today: education, economic revival and community revitalization. But I also, I feel strongly that I’m the person to beat Mike Pence,” Ritz said to news outlets gathered at the library.

Ritz’s announcement in Indy included a promise to pursue statewide equal rights protections for gays and lesbians, an obvious reference to the RFRA controversy sparked by Mike Pence.

“We must respect the personal and civil rights of all of Indiana’s citizens and bring forward legislation that respects the rights of all Hoosiers,” she said. While in Fort Wayne, Ritz called RFRA a disaster.

Other Democrats who are also running for governor include State Senator Karen Tallian and John Gregg, who also ran in 2012 and lost to current Republican Governor Mike Pence. Pence is expected to announce later this month that he seeking re-election.

According to the associated press, Ritz could seek a second term as state superintendent because the candidate will be picked after the primary during the party’s 2016 state convention. However, she said her focus will be on the governor’s race.

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