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Sugar says no to governor's race, criticizes Democratic Party

September 21, 2015

Tom Sugar, a longtime aide to former Gov. Evan Bayh, announced Monday that he would not run for Indiana governor in 2016 after all, putting to rest speculation that he might jump in the race to compete against John Gregg for the Democratic nomination.

In a lengthy statement, Sugar said Indiana politicians are "out of touch” with and “insensitive” to Hoosier values and the problems the state faces. He thanked his supporters and said his decision was difficult to make and “disappointing."

But he also trashed an unlikely opponent on the way out: The Indiana Democratic Party and top donors, for doing "all they could to discourage (his) campaign” out of fear of a primary challenge to Gregg, who is trying again to defeat Pence in 2016 despite mounting an unsuccessful 2012 campaign against him.

"I believe this is wrongheaded and hope to live long enough to see the day when Hoosier Democrats begin to behave like winners, confident enough to welcome new leaders, new energy and new ideas,” Sugar said in the statement. "Sadly, it doesn’t appear this will be the case in 2016."

Indiana Democratic Party spokesman Drew Anderson said the party would not comment on the matter.

Sugar also said family finances played a part in his decision not to run. He said he would have had to quit his job as senior vice president of Complete College America, which is a “nonpartisan” organization.

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