A little after 7 p.m., Jennifer McCormick arrived at Switchyard Brewing Company on North Walnut Street in downtown Bloomington with her 2024 gubernatorial campaign team.
McCormick is vying for the Democratic Party’s nomination as the governor of the Hoosier state.
The campaign launched with a late-Wednesday filing, then hit the road Thursday, starting in New Castle, where she grew up. From there, it was on to Terre Haute, then Evansville, and finally Bloomington.
McCormick’s name will be recognizable as Indiana’s superintendent of public instruction, elected in November 2016, running as a Republican.
The office of superintendent was abolished in 2021—replaced by the secretary of education, who is appointed by the governor. Also in 2021, McCormick announced she was changing her political affiliation to the Democratic Party.
Around 40 local Bloomington Democrats were on hand to greet McCormick, who gave brief remarks when she hit the door, then a few more words from the lectern that had been set up in front of a stack of kegs and pallet of cans.
Introducing McCormick was Shruti Rana, who was fresh off her victory in the Democratic Party’s primary race for the District 5 Bloomington city council seat. Rana described how she got to know McCormick last year, after the Indiana state legislature passed SB1, which prohibited most abortions in the state.
Rana described a fall 2022 teach-in on reproductive rights that had the panelists “literally in tears” thinking about what they had all been through and how much was at stake. But Rana described how McCormick had just said: “We can do this. I know how to do this. I have the statewide experience. I can reach out as a unity candidate. I understand both sides of the aisle.”
Rana continued, “Everybody at the end of the day cares about public education. Everyone cares about jobs. Everyone cares about health care. Everyone cares about child care—and if they don’t, Jennifer is going to convince them that they should.”
Also delivering remarks were Monroe County Democratic Party chair David Henry, Switchyard Brewing owner Kurtis Cummings, and College Democrats at Indiana University president Mia Seifers.
When McCormick took the mic, she ticked through the basic points of her biography before delivering her stump speech. Here are some excerpts:
Hoosiers do not recognize the out-of-touch divisiveness that is coming from the state house. They expect leaders who believe in using common sense and bipartisanship, in order to solve problems and move our state forward. I do love Indiana. I love our potential. I love our successes. I love our common sense and our sense of civility. But we have to have leaders who will ensure that those values are reflected and they’re upheld. That is why I am ready to serve the people once again.
It’s time we have a champion for high quality education and in a system in which we look at it from child care, universal pre K-12, and in post high school education and skill development. It is time we have accessible and affordable health care. We need to include the freedoms of women and families and LGBTQ to make their own decisions about their health care. It’s time for a strong economy from urban, suburban and rural Indiana. We need good-paying jobs. We also need an educated and skilled workforce. That means we have got to fight for safe schools, safe streets and safe communities. Every Hoosier deserves that.
We need to stop those crazy distractions that are happening in the state house and the divisiveness and put it aside. I’m committed to running a campaign that you’re all going to be proud of. We’re going to work all 92 counties—whether you’re Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or independent—we are going to work to find common ground in order to find real solutions to real problems so we can move our state forward.
We need someone who understands suburban, rural and urban Indiana and appreciates the similarities and differences. Most importantly, we need to make sure we will demand fiscal transparency, responsibility, and accountability. And that’s why I’m asking for your support. That is why I’m asking for your vote. I have proven to be that kind of leader and I am ready once again to lead let’s get this done.
Among the local Dems in the crowd welcoming McCormick at Switchyard Brewing on Thursday were: Monroe County councilors Jennifer Crossley and Geoff McKim; Bloomington city councilmember Matt Flaherty; winners of their respective Democratic Party primaries on Tuesday, Kerry Thomson (mayor) and Isak Asare (Bloomington city council at large); and District 3 Bloomington city council candidate Conner Wright.
Photos: Jennifer McCormick campaign stop (May 4, 2023 Switchyard Brewing)
2 thoughts on “Jennifer McCormick kicks off gubernatorial campaign in Bloomington”
Good news! A candidate prepared and ready to speak power to the powerful, A courageous fighter for her values and those of the Democratic Party.
I am already on board with a donation and a note to her that I am ready to work for her
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