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Pence, Gregg rematch for Indiana governor is on
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Pence, Gregg rematch for Indiana governor is on

INDIANAPOLIS — The 2016 governor's race officially began Wednesday with Republican incumbent Mike Pence and Democrat John Gregg both filing paperwork at the secretary of state's office to get their names on the ballot.

Neither is expected to face a primary election opponent, meaning Hoosiers likely will choose in November between the same two men who competed four years ago when Pence edged Gregg by just 75,408 votes out of nearly 2.6 million cast.

Gregg said this race is different because he's not running against popular Gov. Mitch Daniels' endorsed successor. Instead, Gov. Pence has his own record and it's not one Hoosiers are particularly proud of.

"This campaign is going to be on Mike Pence's failed record of leadership and what we're proposing," Gregg said. "We can do a lot better in Indiana."

Gregg said he soon will announce plans to increase the quality of Indiana jobs, not just the quantity; bolster funding for state and local roads; improve educational outcomes, including establishing a statewide preschool program; and prevent discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Hoosiers.

He vowed, if elected, to work directly with individuals affected by policy decisions and across party lines to find the best solutions for Indiana's challenges, something Gregg said Pence repeatedly has failed to do on issues ranging from road funding to LGBT civil rights.

"A leader — and this election is about leadership — would have gotten everybody sitting at the table and had discussions and tried to work out a compromise," Gregg said.

Pence said he is more than ready to defend his record, including the creation of 139,000 new private-sector jobs on his watch, $5 billion in business investment and improvements to the state's schools, infrastructure and health care system.

"But there's still work to be done ... to bring our state to our rightful place as the leading state in the Midwest and the best place in America to start a business, grow a business, get a job, raise a family and retire," Pence said.

Pence promised to avoid personal attacks on his opponent during the campaign, but warned if Gregg wants to compare records in office he's prepared to remind Hoosiers of Gregg's tenure as House speaker.

"We think the choice will be very clear," Pence said.

Only once before in Indiana history have two gubernatorial candidates faced each other in back-to-back elections.

In 1831, Noah Noble, a Whig, defeated Democrat James Read to win a three-year term as governor. Noble also prevailed in 1834 when Read challenged him a second time.

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