‘Working together, we can make big ideas happen’

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With the Area 31 Career Center as a backdrop, superintendent of education Glenda Ritz made her first official announcement as a candidate for Indiana governor Thursday morning.

“Today in Indiana, we need to move forward,” Ritz said during a 10-minute press announcement.

Ritz was elected state superintendent in 2012 and has been battling with governor Mike Pence over control of education in Indiana ever since. She garnered more votes in defeating Tony Bennett then Pence did in winning governor that year.

“Working together, we can make big ideas happen,” Ritz said.

Ritz joins a crowded democratic ticket that also includes John Gregg, a popular candidate who lost to Pence in 2012.

With her husband of 38 years Greg by her side, Ritz cited education and retaining college graduates as two of her biggest concerns. She noted that two of her children have left the state to seek employment opportunities elsewhere.

“Education is a catalyst for improvement,” Ritz said, adding that improving education in Indiana will help the state create and retain more jobs.

“I understand the difficulties families face every day,” Ritz said. “I know all too well our best and brightest feel they do not have opportunities here.”

Ritz announced in November during a speech in the Ben Davis gym her intentions to seek a second term as state superintendent. Her visit Thursday was the first of five planned stops across that state to announce her candidacy for governor.

Ritz’s candidacy is expected to be popular in education circles.

“Everything is better with Ritz,” special education teacher Dave Ellison said. “She will be a strong candidate.”