Democratic gubernatorial candidate makes stops in Gary, Portage
By Carole Carlson email@example.com | 648-3154 October 17, 2012 3:26PM
Indiana gubernatorial candidate John Gregg appears with running mate Vi Simpson (left) during a rally with supporters at the Genesis Center in Gary, Ind. Wednesday October 17, 2012. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 19, 2012 3:17PM
GARY — Casting Republicans Mike Pence and Richard Mourdock as “extremists,” Lake County Democrats rallied the troops Wednesday at a Genesis Center rally.
Democrat John Gregg faces Pence in the general election for the governor’s office. Gregg criticized Pence, who’s a member of Congress, for voting against the auto bailout.
“He drives around in the big red truck, but he voted against the bailout,” Gregg said.
Evan Bayh, a former U.S. senator and Indiana governor, thinks Gregg and his running mate Vi Simpson will prevail Nov. 6. “I think it’s close but Hoosiers are independent. I think you’ll see a lot of ticket splitting.”
Gregg, the former speaker of the Indiana House and former president of Vincennes University, said he can’t win without Lake County support.
Gregg trails Pence in the polls and in campaign contributions.
“We are narrowing the gap every day … there’s no place more important than right here to close the gap.”
Gregg said he needs 130,000 votes from Northwest Indiana. “You have to dig a little deeper in the well; there’s 20 more days,” the downstate Sandborn Democrat said.
Before arriving at the Genesis Center, Gregg and Bayh stopped at Cappo’s Restaurant in Portage where local Democrats greeted them and they talked with diners.
Bayh said in 2008 he stopped at Schoop’s in Portage where he dined with then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. Bayh praised Obama’s Tuesday debate performance. “He brought the passion and the fire. I think he’ll do it.”
Bayh said Gregg and Simpson, a state senator for 28 years, bring important Statehouse experience to shape state government.
“I have a deep conviction in my heart that they are the right people to move our state forward at this critical time.”
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson encouraged citizens to vote early. “I got a call about waiting at the courthouse but to me, having to wait to vote early is a very good thing.”
Simpson, of Bloomington, assailed Pence’s voting record saying he has spent 12 years in Congress and still hasn’t gotten a bill passed. “For some reason, he keeps getting re-elected. It’s our duty to end his road to the presidency right now.”