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Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks with supporters, including Crawford County elected officials, last Wednesday at the Overlook Restaurant in Leavenworth. Holcomb just a few days earlier announced he would be running for a second term. Photo By Chris Adams

Governor, fresh off of re-elect bid announcement, makes stop at L'worth

July 24, 2019
A room full of supporters gathered at the Overlook Restaurant in Leavenworth Wednesday to welcome Gov. Eric Holcomb, who just a few days earlier announced he would be seeking a second term.

Holcomb, who had made a stop in Jeffersonville that morning and would be heading to Evansville later in the day, was a few minutes late as he first visited Stephenson's General Store just down the road. His supporters, however, didn't mind, as he was greeted with enthusiastic applause upon his arrival.

Elected in 2016, after being selected by the Indiana State Republican Committee to be the GOP gubernatorial nominee following then-Gov. Mike Pence withdrawing from the race in order to be Donald Trump's vice presidential running mate, Holcomb talked about Indiana's economic successes, including being the envy of other states.

Holcomb joked that at a conference earlier this year Kevin Stitt, the governor of Oklahoma, when asked what was the biggest threat to his state, replied, "Indiana."

"We're out there modernizing, and we're out there leading the pack," Holcomb said. "So, we've got a lot of people chasing us and hunting us, and I want to make sure that we're not just leading and occupying that pole position; I want to create some more separation between us and the competition."

Looking across the room, which included several local and state Republican elected officials, Holcomb said that it is a team effort.

"I just can't tell you how appreciative we are of what you do day in and day out to keep this state in a leadership position. The eyes of not just the country, but the world are upon Indiana, and we're going to continue to rise with your help," he said.

While Holcomb kept his remarks brief, choosing instead to go from table to table to speak more directly with supporters, in an interview prior to heading into the restaurant, he went into more detail about what he believes are his first-term successes, including investments in people, in addition to the economy.

Holcomb said he was proud that his administration has worked to make sure people of all ages — and all stations in life — have programs tailored to their specific needs to improve their lives, including providing those struggling with addiction paths to recovery.

"If you're willing to put in the time, the state of Indiana is willing to partner with you to get you skilled up," he said. "Obviously, our people are our greatest asset, and to see the number of businesses and people going back getting the skills that are in high demand … is something I'm really proud of."

That, Holcomb said, only continues "to fuel our booming state economy."

"We just broke a record for reserves, and that's a reflection of our revenue, and that's a reflection of all the new jobs that have come online," he said. "In 2017, we broke the all-time new jobs commitment record. In 2018, we broke that record … We now have more people working in the private sector in the state of Indiana than in any other time in our 202-year history."

Indiana's unemployment rate for June, released by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development on Friday, was 3.5 percent, which is lower than the U.S. unemployment rate as well as those for direct neighboring states.

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