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Long Thompson fills ticket with Oxley

June 18, 2008
State Rep. Dennie Oxley, D-English, has been chosen to be the running mate of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jill Long Thompson.

In an announcement made Monday during a trip that included several Indiana cities, Long Thompson called Oxley a "perfect fit."

"Dennie Oxley is an outstanding public servant, and I am proud to welcome him to the team," Long Thompson said in a press release Monday. "His experience in the State Legislature, in the classroom and in the business world will be put to good use as we work together to rebuild our economy and restore Indiana's promise."

Oxley was first elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1998 and represents portions of eight Southern Indiana counties, including Crawford, Harrison, Clark, Washington, Perry, Jackson, Scott and Dubois. He now serves as the majority whip for the House Democratic Caucus.

The nomination as lieutenant governor will require Oxley to give up his candidacy for the legislature, and Democratic precinct committee officials will fill the vacated spot.

"I think he'll be a great asset to the Long Thompson campaign," Crawford County Democratic Chair Terry Stroud said. "She carries the northern part of the state well, so having a running mate from this part of the state is a good thing. He's an endless campaigner, and a conservative Democrat. He's done everything he could to help the poor people and that means a lot here."

Oxley was instrumental in crafting a bill in 2007 for House Democrats that was aimed at repealing the state sales tax on gasoline. The House approved a version of the bill that capped the tax at anything above $2.25 per gallon, but the Senate failed to approve the legislation.

"Dennie's legislative career demonstrates that he is an effective leader and a champion of working people," Long Thompson said. "He is known as a tireless and dedicated legislator who can get the job done. Dennie is exactly the kind of lieutenant governor we need to help bring new prosperity and opportunity to communities across the state. He's ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work on day one."

Oxley, a native of Crawford County, began his career as a teacher and administrator for the Crawford County Community School Corp. and now works as a project coordinator with the Indianapolis engineering firm Beam, Longest and Neff LLC.

"It's a great honor to be asked to be a part of this team," Oxley said Monday. "I'm excited about the opportunity.

"Our economy is lagging. Gas prices, health care costs and home foreclosures are at an all-time high. We have to start growing our economy.

"There's some big challenges facing the State of Indiana. After four years of Mitch Daniels' failed policies and lack of leadership, we have a lot of work to do, but Jill and I are looking forward to it."

Oxley is a graduate of Crawford County High School and earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Education degrees from Indiana University Southeast.

He is a member of Fairview General Baptist Church, the Chamber of Commerce, Milltown Masonic Lodge, Hardinsburg Lions Club, Crawford County Jaycees, Scottish Rite Valley of Indianapolis and the Murat Shrine.

Oxley lives in English with his wife, Jayme, and their daughters, Demi and Audrey.

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