Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz is dropping out of the race for Governor.
Ritz announced late this afternoon she was ending her campaign and instead will run for re-election.
Her campaign released the following statement…
“Over a million school children are starting school. They begin this school year with the hope and optimism that education can make a difference in their lives. The best use of my time and talents will be to serve our children, their families and the taxpayers of Indiana as Superintendent of Public Instruction. I must continue to be 110% engaged in supporting public education.
Now is not the right time for me to run for governor. Under my leadership, I have brought the discussion of public education into the public discourse and have started to fundamentally change how we support schools. My work is not finished, and my passion is stronger than ever. I am resolutely dedicated to educators, students, and families from Pre-K to graduation.
Recent stories in the news media have pointed out that we do indeed have major issues that impact our families. Two of them particularly concern me—a rising childhood poverty rate and a major decrease in the numbers of college-level students pursuing majors that will lead to teaching. Both of these issues require a redoubling of my commitment to serve as Superintendent to provide the needed wrap-around services to our children and to address the barriers that have been put in place to attract and retain teachers.
The people of Indiana know we need a new governor, a governor that supports public education that directly affects their abilities for better jobs and stronger communities. As Superintendent, I will continue to advocate for what is right to educate our children to improve our economy for all Hoosiers. With the help of all of you, we will keep education the focal point of the gubernatorial race.
Many of my supporters will be disappointed in my decision, but I know that we share a vision for education. My heartfelt thanks goes out to all who have so passionately supported my campaign for governor.
With my personal commitment to doing what is needed to prepare this and future generations for the challenges of tomorrow, I will enthusiastically seek re-election as your Superintendent of Public Instruction. “
Ritz’s campaign had faced a series of missteps, including smaller than expected crowds at campaign stops, lackluster fundraising and sloppy campaign finance reporting which led to a complaint filed with the Election Board. An investigation is currently underway. The campaign also faced money problems and could even afford a hospitality suite at French Lick in two weeks for a Democratic gathering.
Ritz’s exit leaves former House Speaker John Gregg and State Senator Karen Tallian.