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Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb sits down with The Times

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb sits down with The Times. 

Northwest Indiana leaders and this editorial board have regularly praised our Region's unprecedented work to unify behind commuter rail expansion.

Now a voice from the highest executive authority in state government can be added to the chorus.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb visited with The Times Editorial Board last week, and he had plenty of good things to say about our Region.

His glowing comments are seated in fact.

As our Region awaits decisions on federal funding for expanding South Shore Line commuter rail from Hammond to Dyer and double-tracking lines between Gary and Michigan City, Holcomb heaped on praise.

"We need to align ourselves regionally in other parts of the state. You guys have a head start on that," Holcomb said of Northwest Indiana's ability to unite often-fragmented municipalities, state and federal leaders behind the rail project.

Holcomb noted the benefits of an upgraded commuter rail service in drawing potential new residents to the state from the greater Chicago area.

"When you factor in the low cost of living and the high quality of life, your dollar goes a lot further here than in Chicago," Holcomb told us. "I want to attract that talent to live on this side and improve their quality of life."

But just as important as the new economy the train expansion would offer is the teamwork our Region has shown in making its pitch, Holcomb said.

That's high praise from a Republican governor of a Region most often politically aligned with his opposition party.

It's a clear reminder that party lines shouldn't matter when considering a greater good.

We all should be proud of the governor's assessment as we await word on federal funding for the project. And our leaders should be thinking of ways to share this model of regional partnership with all corners of the state.


Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editor Marc Chase, Deputy Editor Kerry Erickson, Assistant Local News Editor Crista Zivanovic and Regional News Editor Sharon Ross.