Governor and State Government and Elections and Politics and Government & Economic Development and Government

Gubernatorial candidates turn in signatures

February 9, 2012

Describing himself as "the workhorse, not the show horse," Democratic candidate for governor John Gregg drew a sharp contrast between himself and likely Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, as he submitted 7,800 signatures to get his name on Indiana's ballot.

Gregg carried a single box packed with petitions when he arrived at the state elections division Thursday with his son, John, a sophomore at Butler University, and campaign manager Rebecca Pearcey in tow. By contrast, Pence brought 100 supporters and 92 boxes — one for each of the state's 92 counties — when he turned in about 13,000 signatures on Monday. Those boxes were mostly empty and were meant to symbolize Pence's broad support.

Pence could have an open path to the Republican nomination after Fishers businessman Jim Wallace said he came up 111 signatures shy of the number needed to make the ballot. Wallace said Wednesday he was disappointed and was considering asking the Marion County Board of Voter Registration to reassess 200 signatures he believes were wrongly disqualified.

Libertarian candidate and former "Survivor" star Rupert Boneham did not have to submit voter signatures because the Indiana Libertarian Party's "minor party" status allows it to pick candidates in a closed nominating process.

This week's filings were fairly indicative of the candidates' personalities. Pence stayed strictly on message Monday while taking questions from reporters. Gregg, however, often veered off with jokes and one-liners Thursday, at one point telling reporters to go ahead and laugh.

"I'm not Mike Pence, you can laugh. I'm not that uptight!" he said.

Statewide candidates were required to collect signatures from 500 registered voters in each of the state's nine congressional districts by Jan. 31. Gov. Mitch Daniels is term-limited against running for re-election in November.

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