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Gregg enthused about possible run for governor

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

(Photo)
John Gregg
Former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg, from Sandborn, says he's not made a decision whether to make a run on the Democrat Party ticket for governor in 2012, but quickly added he's encouraged with the support he's received throughout the state.

Gregg, an attorney with the Bingham McHale law firm with offices in Vincennes and Indianapolis, said the decision would ultimately be governed by what is best for his family.

If a decision is made to run, Gregg said it would quickly become a full-time job campaigning.

"I am still exploring it and I'm real enthused and I'm actually encouraged by everything," Gregg said. "I've been meeting with people all around the state in some of the more major metropolitan areas. I spent time in southern Indiana with different mayors, county chairmen and district chairman. I've spent a lot of time in Indianapolis."

He's also got some meetings planned today and Thursday in Lake County, where he will meet with members of organized labor and elected officials.

Last week, Gregg was on the road and met with officials from the Democrat Governor's Association.

"With each day, I get more enthused about it (a run for the office)," Gregg said.

Volunteer groups have sprung up with a website on the Internet and social media, like Facebook, which are seeking support for Gregg's candidacy.

He's also keeping the speaking engagement calendar booked with Jackson-Jefferson Dinners throughout the state, including in Clay County Friday, April 8.

The 56-year-old Gregg has the political resume to make him a viable candidate, if he decides to throw his hat into the race.

He was first elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1986, serving in several leadership roles. He became the 85th Speaker of the House in 1996.

After six years, he retired as the longest serving Democrat Speaker in state history.

In 2002, Governing Magazine named him "Public Official of the Year."

Gregg went on to become the 20th president of Vincennes University, helping the institution move from a two-year to a four-year curriculum.

Currently, the former speaker uses his skills and experiences to assist governments, municipalities, school corporations and businesses with legislative and business matters as a lawyer.

From 1999-2007, Gregg worked as a radio talk show host for WIBC Indianapolis.

Prior to public life, he worked in southern Indiana for two Fortune 500 companies.

When asked about the positives of making a run in 2012, Gregg said, "Part of it is, I looked after the November 2010 election and I told myself as I looked at things, if the Republicans misread what they thought would be a clear mandate and started overreaching and stuff, it would be a clear sign to me.

"If the Republicans would have just let it stay in the middle, I think most of Americans could live with it. But they've swung it to the other side. I'm a very middle of the road person. I governed as speaker when we had a 50-50 tied house on session. I think I can run well in southern Indiana, which over the last couple of elections, has lost a bunch of legislative seats and they (Democrats) have not run well congressional wise. I think I can help in that area being a moderate Democrat and a fiscally conservative Democrat," he added.

Gregg's youngest son, Hunter, is a junior at North Knox High School and will graduate in May 2012. His other son, John, is a freshman at Butler University in Indianapolis.

The negatives against running would be consideration for his boys, Gregg said.

"That's still something I have to sort out," he said.

Gregg said Hunter is involved in track and other school events and wants to be able to participate as fan/father.

"That's important to me. I've sacked popcorn and flipped burgers and want to keep doing that and cooking for prom events," he said. "That's important to me, so that is the biggest consideration right there."



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