Indiana’s next governor

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The 2012 governor’s race is a long way off, but it isn’t too early to start asking about the kind of governor Hoosiers will be looking for. More than one politico is certainly discussing the question.

By then, the state will have had eight years of Mitch Daniels and seemingly endless change. Daylight-saving time, the toll road lease, a smattering of local government reform — and promises for more local government and education reform before he leaves office.

Voters might find themselves suffering from change-exhaustion and want to catch their breath. That might make candidates offering stability sound pretty good.

Perhaps the better question is, what will the state need in its next governor?

As ongoing economic reports remind us, Indiana is still in the Rust Belt. It’s still a cold-weather state with few natural features to attract young workers. And foreign competition is still rising quickly. As a result, the state has its work cut out for decades to come.

In light of the past and the looming challenges, describe the candidate voters will want. And the one you’d like to see.

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