Skillman won't run for governor's seat in 2012

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Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman announced on Monday that “minor” health issues will keep her from running for Indiana governor in 2012.

In a prepared statement, Skillman did not divulge specifics about her health.

“With much disappointment, I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for governor in 2012,” she said. “My end-of-year physical exam revealed minor health issues. Nothing will interfere with my devotion to my duties as lieutenant governor, and I plan to continue the same pace as always. However, it is best to continue without the additional stress of a gubernatorial campaign.”

A former state senator from Bedford, Skillman, 60, has served as lieutenant governor under Gov. Mitch Daniels since 2004. A two-term limit prevents Daniels from running again for governor.

Skillman's decision leaves U.S. Rep. Mike Pence as the most prominent Republican who has talked about a campaign for the state's top job. No well-known Democrats are looming as candidates.

Pence stepped down from his position as the No. 3 leader among House Republicans after the November election, saying he was considering his political opportunities. He's also been receiving support from social conservatives to enter the 2012 presidential race.

Pence issued a statement praising Skillman but didn't address whether her announcement would affect his decision about entering the governor's race.

"My family and I hold Becky in the highest regard and were troubled to learn that she was encountering challenges to her health," Pence said.

Pence spokesman Matt Lloyd said any campaign decisions will come after the first of the year.

Daniels extolled the contributions of Skillman, whom he picked as his running mate in 2004.

"No governor has ever had a better partner; she has been a central figure in every reform and every big change we have brought about," Daniels said. "Since we citizens won't be fortunate enough to experience it, take it from me that Becky would have made a superb governor, ready in every respect and Hoosier to her core."

Skillman has held elected office since 1976, serving as the Lawrence County recorder and clerk before joining the state Senate in 1992.

In the video below from IBJ's "Leading Questions" series, Skillman discusses her small-town upbringing and how she navigates her role as the governor's chief consensus builder for thorny issues.


Two prominent Democrats mentioned as possible gubernatorial candidates — retiring U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh and defeated U.S. Rep. Baron Hill — have said they won't enter the 2012 race.

Other potential Democratic candidates include Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel, Lake County Sheriff Roy Dominguez and outgoing U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth, who was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee this year for Bayh's Senate seat.


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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.