Indiana Dems searching for running mate - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Indiana Dems searching for running mate

Jill Long Thompson Jill Long Thompson
Mitch Daniels Mitch Daniels

Kevin Rader/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - The search is on to find a running mate for Jill Long Thompson in the race for Indiana governor. Meanwhile, Governor Mitch Daniels got a campaign boost of his own.

"Thirty-three states have raised their gas tax, but not us," the governor said.

Daniels accepted the endorsement of the Professional Firefighters Union Tuesday.

"What he has done for our members by initiating a subsidized training program where firefighters can get excellent state and national standard training," said the union's president, Tom Hannify. 

One such facility opened up in Auburn, Indiana in August 2006.  That fanned the flames of support for the 6,800 members of the professional firefighters union.

"We have done all we can to listen to improve their training situation, equipment situation. We want Indiana firefighters to be the safest and most proficient anywhere," Daniels said.

His opponent, Jill Long Thompson, is still in the process of setting up her state headquarters in Indianapolis and selecting a potential running mate. Her campaign is hoping to make a decision on a running mate before the statewide Democratic convention June 21.

"We do have a search committee and we are doing a vetting process of voting records, personal information, those sorts of things," said Jeff Harris of the Long Thompson campaign.

Speculation focuses on Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel, Representative Trent Van Haaften from Mt Vernon, Representative Dennis Oxley from English, Former Speaker of the House John Gregg and Lake County Sheriff Roy Dominguez.

"Someone strong on economic development, someone who brings a lot of experience to the table on a variety of issues," Harris said. "Someone willing to campaign full-time for the position and the ticket."

Harris says Jill Long Thompson's decision making process is being modeled after the vice presidential searches currently underway which means she will make the final decision after she conducts face to face one on one interviews.

Another possibility is Representative Steve Stemler from Jeffersonville. Eyewitness News has also learned that selection process could also include some possibilities from the business sector as well.

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