The Democrat who ran for Governor in 2008 will now head Indiana’s economic development efforts.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence today named Democrat Jim Schellinger, who ran for the job in 2008, as the new President of the state’s Economic Development Corporation. 

Schellinger, is the President of CSO Architects and has been on the IEDC Board since 2013.  He will take over as President on August 10.

Pence said naming Schellinger to the post shows jobs were not a partisan issue and Hoosiers need everyone working together to keep moving forward.  And Schellinger said his job was to continue to attract new talent to the state.

The two were asked about the politics of the appointment as well as whether the controversy surrounding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act debate and subsequent discussion over adding sexual orientation and gender identity would impact job creation.

You can hear the responses in the Leon-Tailored Audio above.  Part one is the announcement.  Part two is questions from the media.

Reaction to Schellinger’s appointment has been somewhat mixed.

House Speaker Brian Bosma released the following statement…

  • “I commend Governor Pence for appointing Jim Schellinger as President of the IEDC. Serving as a board member, Jim is well-known as a leader that is committed to growing the economy and creating the best environment for businesses to thrive and create jobs.  Polices enacted over the last several years have positioned Indiana as a leader in economic development and it will take strong leadership to continue finding ways to encourage businesses to expand and relocate here. I am confident that Jim’s expertise and leadership experiences will serve our state well.”

Democratic State Party Chairman John Zody issued this statement…

  • “It’s only after he put Indiana and its middle class in jeopardy that Governor Pence has decided to listen to a Democrat on how to better improve the state’s sluggish economy and bruised well-being. While hardworking Hoosiers continue to see an expanding wage gap and falling wages, maybe the IEDC can re-start by cutting down wasteful spending on taxpayer-funded projects and bad PR contracts that only seek to highlight Governor Pence’s fictitious ‘strong’ economy. It’s only when these issues are addressed that we will begin to unite the state and do better to improve the lives of all Hoosier families. Democrats will continue fighting toward that end, and we wish Jim Schellinger well.”