Not Putting on the Ritz: Indiana Schools Chief Drops Out of Governor’s Race

By Andrew Ujifusa — August 10, 2015 1 min read
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Indiana Superintendent Glenda Ritz’s campaign for governor lasted about two months.

Ritz, a Democrat who was elected state superintendent in 2012, officially launched her campaign in early June. But on

Friday, Ritz announced she was pulling out of the race in order to focus on a bid for a second term as state superintendent. Indiana’s gubernatorial election is next year.

The WISH TV channel reported that Ritz’s decision to drop her quest to be governor isn’t a surprise. About three weeks ago, Ritz had to deal with accusations that she potentially broke state campaign finance laws by accepting campaign donations during this year’s state legislative session.

Chalkbeat Indiana also reported that Ritz’s campaign finance operation was being beaten not only by incumbent GOP Gov. Mike Pence, but her rival for the Democratic nomination, John Gregg, who ran unsuccessfully against Pence in 2012.

And reporters even had a hard time getting in touch with her campaign office, as Niki Kelly of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported earlier this week in what may have been a prescient tweet:

Ritz, a teacher, shocked many in the education world when in 2012 she beat Republican incumbent Superintendent Tony Bennett for Indiana’s top K-12 job. She had the strong backing of the unions and made skepticism of the common core one of her campaign issues.

But she’s had an extremely tumultuous time on the job, butting heads with Pence and the state school board over various issues, including her authority to run state board meetings and A-F accountability. This year, lawmakers approved a change to state law so that beginning in 2017, board members (who are appointed by the governor) will pick the board’s chairperson, instead of having the state superintendent automatically serve in that job, which is the current law.

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Photo: Glenda Ritz, a Democrat, celebrated in November 2012 when she knocked off incumbent Indiana Superintendent Tony Bennett. She’s had a volatile career since. Michael Conroy/AP

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.