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Wallace speaks with Chamber of Commerce

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Wallace meets with Clay County Council member Toni Carter following his speaking engagement with the Clay County Chamber of Commerce Tuesday. [Order this photo]
When it comes to government, Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Wallace believes it should be simple.

"It's about applying principles used at homes," he told members of the Clay County Chamber of Commerce during its monthly meeting.

Wallace threw his hat in the ring earlier this year in regard to running in the governor's race in 2012. Republican Mike Pence also plans to run.

On Tuesday, Wallace discussed what he would do as governor with the chamber members at St. Vincent Clay Hospital.

"It's not rocket science," he said. "Indiana is already on the path."

Wallace said he believes Indiana's next governor must focus on jobs in order for the state to continue to grow.

"(The next governor) should be an ambassador to business in the community," he said. "Our next governor needs to get on the radar screen of every growing business."

Wallace believes he has the qualifications to do just that.

He grew up in Jasper County and attended West Point before attending Harvard's Business School.

During his career, he worked for several businesses, and helped to create ways to develop job growth. He also spent time working for current Gov. Mitch Daniels.

"My entire business experience has focused on economic development and job growth," he said.

Wallace said after meeting with several businesses and attending many Lincoln Day Dinners earlier this year, he formed an exploratory committee before making his decision official on running for governor.

On Tuesday, Wallace said while he hopes to maintain some of Daniels' ideas, he believes going "beyond the status quo" is essential, adding he wants the state to be more "proactive," as opposed to "reactive."

"Our next governor needs to be the personal salesman for Indiana," he said. "We need to get in front and say, 'Hey, come look at us."'

Wallace was asked about job growth in the state. One member stated she had seen so many job fairs and yet, the unemployment rate continues to remain high.

Wallace said he believed while Indiana is doing much better than most states, the "underemployment ratio," or, situations where people are taking jobs out of their field for less money, is much worse.

Still, he said he believed anyone who was offered a job and would not accept it should not be allowed public assistance, adding companies are now competing with unemployment benefits.

Wallace said while social issues are important, focusing on job growth within the state is much more essential.

"(Social issues) are just not divisive for Hoosiers," he said. "They do not divide Hoosiers. If you solve the economic issues, the social issues will come along."

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