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Tuesday, April 23
The Indiana Daily Student

Bedford man running for Governor

Former fire fighter has not started fundraising

INDIANAPOLIS – A retired firefighter from Bedford has formed a committee to run for governor as a Republican and said he is confident he can gather enough signatures of registered voters to get on the primary ballot.\nLaRon Keith, 48, said Tuesday that he filed the necessary paperwork to form a campaign committee about two weeks ago, but wanted to wait until he had his platform solidified before seeking any publicity. He must get 500 valid signatures from registered voters in each of the state’s nine congressional districts to gain a spot on the ballot to challenge Gov. Mitch Daniels in next May’s primary election.\nKeith said he is starting off with only his personal money and has not yet sought any contributions. Daniels had $4.1 million in campaign cash at the end of June.\nThree Democrats are seeking their party’s nomination for governor – former U.S. Rep. Jill Long Thompson, state Senate Minority Leader Richard Young of Milltown and Jim Schellinger, president of an Indianapolis architecture firm and a longtime activist.\nKeith said he was “fed up with politicians” who seem to make promises they do not have to keep and who will not tackle tough issues.\nHe said his platform included abolishing property taxes and replacing the lost revenue by raising the sales tax and extending it to everything; placing stricter spending caps on state and local governments and eliminating wasteful spending.\nHe also wants to put the time zone issue to a statewide vote; prevent illegal immigrants from obtaining free social services, including health care, and return any budget surplus at the end of fiscal years to the people.\nKeith said he has run for office once before, losing a contest for a seat on the Lawrence County Council in the late 1990s.\nHe is a 1977 graduate of Bedford North Lawrence High School, about 25 miles south of Bloomington, and said he then received an associate degree in architectural drafting from ITT Technical Institute in Indianapolis.\nHe said he has held numerous jobs over the years, including one as a firefighter and as a carpet installer. He is divorced and has two sons.

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