Pence seeks affordable college; Gregg after more trade

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The two leading candidates for governor offered starkly different plans for improving the state's economy Thursday during separate events in Indianapolis.

Democrat John Gregg spent the morning in a business park, arguing the state needs to increase exports by 50 percent.

Republican Mike Pence headed to Marian University in the afternoon to push for new performance requirements for students getting state aid to and for programs to help students graduate within four years.

The crux of both plans, they said, is improving Indiana's economy.

"Getting to college isn't good enough, getting through college is what makes the difference," Pence said.

Education money should go to colleges that graduate students on time and to students who promise to graduate within four years, Pence said.

Gregg suggested creating an office to help Indiana companies fight unfair foreign trade practices, give tax credits to Indiana companies that employ Hoosiers and provide support for Indiana companies looking to expand abroad.

"If you can brand a mustache in a political campaign, you can brand Hoosier products around the world," Gregg said, referring to the walrus-like mustache he is known for.

The two opponents have already rolled out many of their ideas for how they would run the state if elected governor.

Pence has called for cutting the state's income tax by 10 percent, establishing a moratorium on new regulations and improving vocational education. Gregg says he would eliminate the sales tax on gasoline, send more state contracts to Indiana businesses and promote equal pay for women.

The campaigns are quickly entering their home stretch, as summer comes to a close and the election looms with less than 11 weeks to go.

Pence has maintained a sizable fundraising lead throughout the year, going up on the air early with the campaign's first commercials in May. Gregg recently joined Pence on-air with a pair of ads.

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