Ind. governor’s race pits Holcomb against former state health commissioner, US Navy veteran

Ind. governor’s race pits Holcomb against former state health commissioner, US Navy veteran
Dr. Woody Myers, Gov. Eric Holcomb, and Donald Rainwater (Source: drwoodymyers.com | holcombforindiana.com | rainwaterforindiana.com)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - With election day fast approaching, Dr. Woody Myers' campaign for Indiana governor is working to secure last-minute votes. The Democrat hopes to pull off an upset in the state’s gubernatorial race with running mate Linda Lawson, a former state representative.

In a media conference Thursday, Myers made his appeal to voters with a focus on Indiana’s battle against COVID-19.

“Like you, I am very concerned about Indiana’s failed response to coronavirus and how the facts have now clearly turned against us,” he said.

In a state where President Donald Trump won the 2016 election with 56% of the vote, Myers is running to unseat Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb after just one term.

Holcomb previously served as lieutenant governor from 2016 to 2017 under former Gov. Mike Pence. So far, he has been endorsed by the state Fraternal Order of Police and a number of labor unions.

Myers, 66, is a Stanford and Harvard educated physician with prior government experience. He served as Indiana’s health commissioner from 1985 to 1990 before a stint as the New York City health commissioner. Myers later embarked on a career in the private sector, working at venture capital firms and serving as a board member for various medical companies.

On the campaign trail, Myers invoked his medical experience to criticize Holcomb’s handling of the coronavirus.

“Instead of swift action, we’re seeing a governor frozen in the intensifying spotlight choosing the politically convenient path of doing nothing, even in the face of record hospitalizations, doing nothing despite record positivity rates. It’s clear to me that Indiana is now losing the battle against COVID-19,” he said.

Indiana is one of the first states to start the final stage of its reopening, despite cases of COVID-19 still escalating. In an interview with WAVE 3 News Monday, Holcomb explained his response to the virus.

“The way we’re approaching it is to be very methodical, very data-driven, and balance our lives, safety first of course, and our livelihoods. Because if our economy goes in the tank then we can’t help those people who are in need,” he said.

At an Oct. 7 campaign event in New Albany, Myers made it clear the race for him was about more than the virus.

“I want to make things work more efficiently, I want to stop wasting taxpayer dollars, I want to get things done. I trained as an intensive care unit medicine physician because that’s where the sickest patients in the hospital were and I just want to apply that same generic set of skills to digging into the problems of our state,” he said.

Myers platform uniquely focuses on the environment and criminal justice reform. Both Myers and Holcomb have policy points on the economy, public education, child welfare, and internet access.

If elected, Myers would be Indiana’s first-ever Black governor and the state’s first Democratic governor in 15 years.

An Indy Politics/Change Research poll from Sept. 11 shows Holcomb leading his competitors with 36% of likely voters. Myers took 30% and Libertarian candidate Donald Rainwater took 24%; 10% were undecided.

Myers, Holcomb, and Rainwater are scheduled to debate on WFYI two times in October, once on Oct. 20 and again on Oct. 27. There will be no public audience.

The Myers campaign has requested each candidate be tested for COVID-19 and their podiums be as far apart as possible.

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.


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