Schools chief Ritz dropping campaign for Indiana governor

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Democratic state schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz is dropping out of the 2016 Indiana governor’s race in favor of seeking re-election to her current position.

Ritz has clashed repeatedly with Republican Gov. Mike Pence over education policy since they both won election in 2012 and announced a bid for governor in early June. Ritz made a campaign stop in downtown South Bend the day after she announced that she would run for governor.

Ritz said in a statement Friday that the best use of her time will be to serve the state’s children, their families and taxpayers as superintendent of public instruction.

Ritz had trailed former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg badly in fundraising as they both sought the Democratic nomination for governor. Ritz ended June with about $110,000 in campaign funds, far behind the $1.8 million Gregg had in the bank as he seeks a rematch of his 2012 campaign loss to Pence.

In a statement Friday, Gregg committed to supporting Ritz in her campaign for re-election as schools chief.

Should he win, Gregg pledged to work cooperatively with Ritz.

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