Why college students should be excited for a new governor in Indiana

MADI MCGUIRE | OPINION COLUMNIST | mjmcguir@butler.edu

This election season has been hectic, to say the least, and seems to be the topic of many college students’ conversations. The presidential election is certainly important, but Indiana residents have even more with which to concern themselves.

Gov. Mike Pence accepted the Republican vice presidential nomination. This makes him ineligible to serve as our governor even if he and presidential nominee Donald Trump lose the election. A new candidate will replace Pence this year.

That candidate will either be John Gregg, a democrat, or Eric Holcomb, a republican.

As college students, we should be excited to have either candidate because of Gregg and Holcomb’s close ties to education and their efforts to help students.

Democratic State Rep. John Gregg received undergraduate degrees from Vincennes University and Indiana University, a master’s degree from Indiana State University and a law degree from Indiana University. On top of these accomplishments, Gregg did it all while working full-time.

Gregg’s work ethic shows he pursued his degrees with determination and commitment to education. Gregg went on to serve as the president of Vincennes University where he fought to keep tuition costs low and better students’ education as a whole, according to his campaign website.

According to Gregg’s website, he lobbies for “An Education System That Works”. With this, Gregg includes a section geared toward college affordability and decreasing student loan debt.

Gregg wants to further develop the workforce Indiana businesses need to provide jobs with “living wages.” Along with this comes Gregg’s desire to bring Hoosier tax dollars to Indiana.

According to Gregg’s campaign website, this would allow Gregg to push more Hoosiers into higher education and, in turn, reduce the skill gap and student debt issues that are present.

In hindsight, Gregg has vast experience in education and can easily relate to the average, working and in-debt college student. Gregg would lobby for the betterment of college students, making him prominent to the college eye.

Attending a liberal arts school comes with the high presence of liberal students and professors who may not cater to many of Gov. Mike Pence’s stances.

Some liberals may only focus on John Gregg for the sheer fact that he is a liberal as well.

However, college students, even if liberal, should be excited to learn about and possibly have Republican candidate Eric Holcomb as the new governor of Indiana.

Eric Holcomb currently serves as the lieutenant governor of Indiana and has close ties to former Gov. Mitch Daniels. Holcomb ran Daniels’ gubernatorial campaign and has many stances that mirror those of the former Hoosier governor.

I consider Holcomb a social moderate and fiscal conservative. This means that he is conservative but has some “in-between” views that can lean more toward the liberal side.

For example, he is supportive of the LGBT community and does not wish to “shut down” Planned Parenthood with regards to abortion.

Having worked closely with both Pence and Daniels, Holcomb has seen the Indiana government be more centered on two different aspects: social issues and fiscal business. This gives him experience that could make him a great candidateworking between the lines of the two extreme governors he might follow.

The Indianapolis Star’s Matthew Tully is a political opinion columnist who recently wrote an article about whether Holcomb caters more toward Daniels or Pence.

Tully found more comparisons between Daniels and Holcomb. Tully also quoted Holcomb saying that, “his focus will be on the job – not the politics.”

To have a candidate who follows closely to Mitch Daniel’s stances on business and education would be appreciated by the college population. Daniels fought for college students and worked toward the business performance of the state.

Now, Daniels serves as the president of Purdue University where he froze tuition and the students receive top-notch education and experiences.

Holcomb, if we are lucky, will keep to Daniels’ side of the stick and lobby toward the betterment of education and businesses in Indiana.

These two candidates’ potential to make college more affordable and beneficial shows liberal and conservative stances do not need to define what college students think.

Sometimes two great candidates come along and we must put aside our personal beliefs on social issues and look deeper into how these candidates can better our lives and the workforce that we will soon be part of.

As we say farewell to Pence, we get to say farewell to spending too much money on religion and social “issues” and hopefully get more of a cut as a working class and society.

College students in Indiana are highly regarded in both campaigns and it looks like the odds might be in our favor no matter what happens. We should be excited for this election and really focus on how the Indiana government can help us, so that later on, we can help the Indiana government right back.


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