Three of The Reflector’s staff writers weigh in on the three-way race between Republican gubernatorial candidate and incumbent Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, Libertarian candidate Donald Rainwater and Democratic Candidate Woody Myers, and their campaign platforms.
Eric Holcomb (R)
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican running for re-election, adopts a conservative stance on the economy but expresses moderate views on social issues.
This can benefit Indiana because Holcomb is addressing current issues such as racism, having called for reform in the state’s police department and requiring every officer to wear body cameras. Holcomb wants to increase Indiana’s economic competitiveness by “bringing the world to Indiana and taking Indiana to the world,” according to IN.gov.
Holcomb is helping the economy by offering grants to small businesses to help support them during the pandemic and accelerate the speed of their recovery. He supports current hate crime laws, protection of sexual orientation and gender identity, and the LGBT community, according to OntheIssues.org.
In the area of education, Holcomb has called for $150 million to be put toward teacher retirement funds and free up money to increase teacher salaries in order to compete with other Midwestern states. According to World Population Review, Indiana is ranked among the bottom 20 states in terms of teacher salary, so the state has a lot of catching up to do. Teachers have been notoriously underpaid in Indiana, so such efforts will not only better education in the schools but also benefit the lives of teachers.
Holcomb’s stance on gun control is conservative as well. He has eliminated fees for certain firearm permits, making it more accessible for Indiana residents to own a gun. Holcomb also signed legislation into a law that allows people who have a carrying license to carry firearms for self-protection in churches. I think owning a handgun for protection is acceptable, but carrying a gun in a church seems a little odd to me. There are some crazy people in this world and it only takes one to do something terrible, so there is no need to carry a deadly weapon in a church.
Holcomb also wants to create jobs for the 21st century. He believes that over the next 10 years, one million new skilled workers will be needed when the 700,000 baby boomers retire and the 300,000 newly created jobs must be filled, according to OntheIssues.org.
Overall, I think that Gov. Holcomb is a good choice and should be re-elected because of his moderate views.
Donald Rainwater (L)
Donald Rainwater is the Libertarian Party candidate for Governor of Indiana. The main issues Rainwater wants to focus on are reducing overall tax burdens, passing constitutional carry of firearms, and decriminalizing and legalizing cannabis.
According to the Rainwater for Indiana campaign website, he focuses on individual rights, from abortion to property ownership. One right he hopes to work on with the Indiana General Assembly, according to his campaign website, is to pass legislation that would attempt to alter the minimum age for alcohol and tobacco possession and consumption.
While this would not necessarily alter campus policies that prevent students from owning or consuming alcohol on campus, it would allow college students to obtain and consume alcohol in a safe manner without having to worry about possible legal issues if caught with alcohol or in a dangerous situation involving alcohol.
However, I think that attempting to change the legal drinking age in the state is not feasible because it poses several difficulties. Not only does the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 cause states to lose 10% of federal funding for state highways if they choose to change it, but any legislation is unlikely to pass in the Indiana General Assembly because eight-in-ten Americans oppose changing the legal drinking age, according to ABC News.
Rainwater also plans to decriminalize and legalize both medicinal and recreational cannabis in Indiana. Rainwater’s campaign website states, “If beer, wine, and liquor are legal for adult recreational consumption, so should all forms of cannabis.”
While attempting to legalize cannabis has been a hot political topic recently, I do not believe it is likely to occur in Indiana. According to the Chicago Tribune, a majority of Hoosiers support the legalization of cannabis in some respect, but the state legislature has not reflected this support, and it is unlikely that will change anytime soon.
Another area of individual rights Rainwater is focusing on in his campaign is medical freedoms, according to his campaign website. While this would mainly ensure Hoosiers can make their own choices regarding medical treatments and health coverage, it also includes situations related to COVID-19, such as eliminating government mandates to wear facial masks or receive vaccinations.
Letting individuals decide whether they want to wear a mask in public could lead to an increase of COVID-19 cases, potentially leaving college students more vulnerable to the virus. I do not lifting government mandates for masks and vaccines would be in the best interest of the public’s health at this time.
Each candidate offers different policies and agreeing with every single one is unlikely. Rainwater’s policies that are highlighted here during this election cycle can impact college students, specifically the health and well-being of young adults. While some policies have been mentioned, voters need to do their own research into each candidate and that candidate’s policies prior to elections.
Woody Myers (D)
Local Hoosier Woodrow “Woody” Augustus Myers Jr. is a local business owner with a unique history in the state of Indiana. He graduated from Shortridge High School, received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University, and got a medical degree from Harvard University and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford, according to his campaign website. This year, Myers is running for Governor of Indiana. This is something different for the state because Myers is a black man, and Indiana has never had a black governor.
Myers is running as the Democratic nominee, and his top five priorities for Indiana include health care, education, climate, economic development and workforce improvement according to his campaign website.
That he would have some health plans for the state only seems fitting, since he served as health commissioner of Indiana from 1985-1990. His campaign website states that he wants to focus on improving access, increasing affordability, and expanding coverage. Myers also plans to change education by prioritizing funding for teachers, with the mindset that we owe students a high-quality education, according to his campaign website.
As far as climate action, the plan highlighted on Myers’ website states that “that Indiana must become more energy efficient,” so setting a new clean energy goal is among his priorities.
Economically, his goal is to diversify Indiana’s economy so that everyone can be financially comfortable, not just one group of people. According to his campaign website, Hoosiers are working but sometimes must work multiple jobs to make ends meet, and Myers wants to change that. His goal directly connects to his workforce development plans, to help workers obtain good-paying jobs through a variety of avenues.
Myers seems to have some progressive plans for the state, and I think he could be very appealing to the younger generation. Healthcare, education and climate all are issues that Generation Z cares about.
Indiana needs a fresh start, especially in the current political climate and state of the world. We are living in a time when more people are without jobs and dealing with increasing health problems, in part because of COVID-19, and the education system is fighting to ensure that students get the education they need.
These are difficult times that call for actual plans of action, not broken promises and lies. We need strong candidates who want the best for all people. There is nothing radical in wanting people to be able to live comfortably in every aspect of life. I appreciate what Myers is bringing to this race, and I hope he succeeds.