Whitcomb drops out of race for party chair

Democrat Trish Whitcomb has dropped out of the race for state party chair.

Whitcomb, who served as the campaign manager for former Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz in 2012 and is the daughter of former Indiana Gov. Edgar Whitcomb, announced Monday that she would no longer seek the position after her son unexpectedly died on Sunday.

“As any parent can imagine, there is no way I can continue my candidacy to become the next leader of the state Democratic Party,” Whitcomb said in a statement. “I will continue to work with the party in the future to ensure we have strong candidates and campaigns in any capacity that I can. I appreciate the opportunity to run and wish the next chair all the best.”

That leaves Mike Schmuhl, former presidential campaign manager for Pete Buttigieg, and Tom Wallace, who unsuccessfully challenged Republican Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray for Senate District 37 last year, as the only candidates for chair of the Indiana Democratic Party.

Schmuhl, 38, is running on a ticket with Myla Eldridge, clerk of Marion County since 2014. Eldridge would serve as vice chair of the party if elected.

The Indiana Democratic Party State Central Committee is set to elect the next chair on Saturday.

John Zody, who has been party chair since 2013, announced in November that he would not seek another term.

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