INDIANAPOLIS | U.S. Rep. Mike Pence will be the Republican nominee for Indiana governor after the Indiana Election Commission ruled Friday that Jim Wallace did not submit enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Wallace, a businessman and former DeMotte resident, claimed to have gathered 1,282 ballot petition signatures in Marion County, 782 more than required by state law. But the county matched only 486 signatures to voter records, leaving Wallace 14 short.
After an hour of reviewing signatures and hearing from the candidate, the election panel said Wallace did not show he met the signature requirement.
"I haven't heard any testimony today that 486 isn't an accurate count," said Dan Dumezich, a Schererville Republican and chairman of the commission.
The panel voted 3-1 to remove Wallace from the ballot.
Afterward, Wallace said he's to blame.
"I'm in charge of my candidacy and I failed to secure the appropriate number of signatures to meet the requirements of the Marion County election board and ultimately the Indiana Election Commission," Wallace said. "It's my fault."
Wallace did not immediately endorse Pence and said he will review his legal options before officially bowing out of the race.
He said Hoosiers have been disenfranchised by the decision.
"Voters deserve a choice in a democracy, and in this process today they were deprived of one," Wallace said.
Barring a successful court challenge, Pence will be the Republican nominee without having to run in an expensive primary election race.
Pence will face Democrat John Gregg in the general election to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels.