FORT WAYNE | Declaring Hoosiers need progress instead of partisanship, Democratic candidates at their party's state convention Saturday said electing them will make Indiana work for everyone.
"Indiana deserves leadership that will bring us together, not tear us apart," said John Gregg, the Democratic candidate for governor. "This isn't about putting on a good show, it's about delivering results."
Promising his "first, second and third" priorities as governor will be creating jobs and strengthening the state's economy, Gregg said Gary-made steel needs to pipe clean-coal energy across the state, and improving the port at Burns Harbor will better enable Indiana to ship its goods to the world.
"We will make Indiana a leader in industries that our workforce is already trained for while preparing the next generation for the jobs of tomorrow," Gregg said.
The Sandborn, Ind., native and former speaker of the Indiana House said, in contrast, Republican Mike Pence is interested in becoming governor only as a prelude to a run for the White House.
U.S. Senate candidate Joe Donnelly said Indiana cannot afford the go-it-alone attitude of his Republican opponent, Richard Mourdock, and promised to work with anyone if it will help Hoosiers.
"I will walk from Lake Michigan to the Ohio River to find 10 more jobs or 10 more opportunities for Indiana," Donnelly said.
The official duties of the 1,409 convention delegates included selecting state Sen. Vi Simpson, D-Ellettsville, for lieutenant governor. State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, seconded Simpson's nomination from the convention floor.
Former attorney general and current Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson nominated Indianapolis attorney Kay Fleming as the party's candidate for attorney general. Indianapolis teacher Glenda Ritz was chosen to run for state superintendent.
Delegates also approved the Democratic platform. Lake County Clerk Mike Brown headed the committee that wrote the nine-page declaration of party principles.
Valparaiso attorney Clay Patton was chosen as a presidential elector. He will cast one of Indiana's 11 electoral votes Dec. 17 if President Barack Obama wins the state's popular vote Nov. 6.
This was the first Democratic convention not held in Indianapolis. State Chairman Dan Parker said bringing the convention to northeast Indiana shows Democrats plan to compete in every part of the state, including traditional Republican strongholds.
Parker said several Lake County Democrats recommended Northwest Indiana host a future convention. He said the party's central committee will decide based on bids received from prospective host communities.