Indiana's first openly gay gubernatorial candidate launches campaign

Gubernatorial candidate Josh Owens. (Provided by: Cheryl Reed, Press for Josh Owens)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Josh Owens filed paperwork today to enter the 2020 Governor's race.

“I’m running for Governor now because I believe in an Indiana where teachers are paid what they deserve and where all are welcomed, respected and protected,” Owens said. “We need a leader who will ensure our state budget, policies and laws reflect a bold and inclusive vision for collective Hoosier success.”

The business leader and education advocate is the first openly gay gubernatorial candidate in Indiana.

The 34-year-old Democrat from Shelbyville, Indiana is head of one of the state's fastest growing companies, SupplyKick. He also serves on the boards of TechPoint Indiana, Indy Chamber, the Orr Fellowship and previously chaired the Indiana Charter School Board.

Owens said his campaign will focus on several topics including, paying teachers more and eliminating textbook fees for public school students, decriminalizing marijuana, and requiring strengthened background checks for any public or private gun purchases.

“I’m passionate about making Indiana the best state it can be and giving every single Hoosier the economic, education, and community support they deserve,” Owens said.