Glenda Ritz to use educational background as foundation for 2016 gubernatorial race

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By: Krystal Vivian kvivian@953mnc.com

Democrat Glenda Ritz smiles on the steps of the old St. Joseph County Courthouse in downtown South Bend on Friday, June 5, 2015. (Krystal Vivian/95.3 MNC)

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Glenda Ritz says Indiana’s future depends on ensuring that Hoosier children and workers are well educated.

Ritz visited South Bend on Friday afternoon, June 5, one of seven planned stops following her announcement Thursday that she’s running for Indiana governor in 2016.

Ritz is currently Indiana’s state superintendent of public instruction after winning the 2012 election. Since taking office, she’s clashed with Republican Gov. Mike Pence and his appointed State Board of Education over policy. She ran for the spot after working in public education for 34 years.

Her education background is the foundation for her campaign, but she will also focus on jobs, economic revival and community revitalization.

“I think Hoosiers are going to find out that I’m not one dimensional in any way,” Ritz said. “Education, however, is going to be a key issue in moving this state forward.”

Ritz said she wants to encourage more job training so that workers have the skills needed for high-paying jobs. She believes an educated workforce will encourage companies to expand or come to the Hoosier state.

“Twenty-nine percent of jobs (in Indiana) are low-wage jobs,” Ritz said. “We have a lot of work to do.”

Ritz is the third Democrat to announce a bid for the 2016 gubernatorial race. Former Indiana House Speaker and 2012 candidate John Gregg and state Sen. Karen Tallian of Portage are also running.