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Karlee Macer

State Rep. Karlee Macer, D-Indianapolis

A four-term state representative from Indianapolis appears to be preparing to seek the Democratic nomination for Indiana governor.

State Rep. Karlee Macer recently changed the name of her Facebook account to "Karlee for Indiana," and amended the name of her campaign committee to "Karlee for Indiana" from "Karlee D. Macer for State Representative 92."

Records also show the currently blank website karleeforindiana.com was claimed May 2 through the GoDaddy registrar system by an unnamed Indiana resident.

In addition, Macer surrogates this month have issued press releases pertaining to state issues on Macer's behalf from an email address connected to the karleeforindiana.com domain.

When asked about the activity, Macer did not deny that she's contemplating a run for statewide office.

"I am seriously evaluating the path forward and how I can further contribute to our state," Macer said.

"Our communities need a steadfast advocate for their successes and I am taking the time to talk with my family and friends to determine how we can best serve all Hoosiers and make House District 92's accomplishments the story of our state's success."

Macer has focused on veterans issues, small business development and utilities during her seven years in the House. She is the top Democrat on the House Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee.

Only two statewide offices — governor and attorney general — are on the 2020 ballot, since Indiana's U.S. senators were elected to six-year terms in 2016 and 2018, and the Republican-controlled General Assembly this year agreed to eliminate the elected state superintendent of public instruction in favor of a governor-appointed secretary of education, beginning in 2021.

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Macer is not an attorney, so she's not eligible to serve as attorney general. Which leaves governor as the only statewide office for Macer to seek.

Elise Shrock, a Democratic communications strategist close to Macer, said the lawmaker's record of getting things done as a Democrat on behalf of a Republican-leaning House district makes Macer the kind of bipartisan candidate all Hoosiers can support.

"She has a winning record when it comes to earning the trust of and votes from a wide breadth of Hoosier perspectives," Shrock said. "I think that's good for our state and party."

No potential Democratic candidates this year have established an official gubernatorial campaign committee. Macer's revised campaign finance documents still list her as a candidate for House District 92, representing Indianapolis' west side.

Former House Speaker John Gregg, the 2012 and 2016 Democratic nominee for Indiana governor, maintains an open campaign account totaling more than $300,000, though Gregg does not appear to be actively fundraising for a third shot at the governor's office.

Indiana Republican Party Spokesman Pete Seat, a Schererville native, responded to questions about Macer's potential gubernatorial bid with a single word: "Who?"

Seat later added, "It's a fool's errand for Democrats to think they can win statewide, especially when we have one of the most popular governors in the country."

State records show Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb also has a formidable war chest for his anticipated re-election bid, topping $4 million as of Dec. 31, 2018, the end of the most recent reporting period.

That's more than either Republican Govs. Mike Pence or Mitch Daniels had raised at the same point in their first terms.

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