Gregg won't seek gubernatorial nomination in 2016

John Gregg
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John Gregg has announced he will not seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2016.

Gregg lost to Gov. Mike Pence in the November 2012 election. Gregg's campaign focused on bipartisanship in an election year that saw Senate Republican candidate Richard Mourdock lose to Democrat Joe Donnelly.

In a statement on his Facebook campaign page, Gregg pointed to the 2012 results as the closest Democrats have come to winning the Indiana governor's seat for years, coming within 2.5 percentage points. He also said it was his intention to run for the seat in 2016 - until now.

Gregg said, "as I have been reminded many times over the years, sometimes life events curb one's focus. I have always been about more than 'politics' and over ten years ago I stepped back from the political world and its demands to focus on my family. It was a great choice – and one I am making again today."

He added that while "I may not be a candidate, I plan to stay involved. I still care deeply about the issues we talked about in 2012: Jobs that pay a living wage; working to develop our potential as a state with job growth in advanced manufacturing, medical devices, life sciences, energy and agriculture; and taking politics out of our public education system."

Read Gregg's full statement to supporters here.

During the campaign, Gregg faulted Pence for voting against the auto company bailout plan in Congress, calling that a vote against investing in American workers. Gregg said Pence focused too much on divisive social issues during his 12 years in Congress.

The announcement leaves the spot wide open for Indiana Democrats. There has been some speculation about Glenda Ritz, the sole Democrat holding an elected position in state government. Ritz has been embroiled in a power struggle with the state Board of Education. She announced a lawsuit against board members Tuesday.

Ritz would not comment on unofficial Facebook and Twitter pages touting her for governor.