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Monday, April 15
The Indiana Daily Student

Democratic candidate drops out of governor’s race Monday

Richard Young cites lack of funds a factor in decision to quit

State Senate Minority Leader Richard Young, the first Democrat to join the 2008 race for governor, dropped out on Monday.\nYoung, 64, said it would take at least $20 million to mount a successful race and he realized he could not raise that much. He also said that getting out would give the other two Democrats seeking the nomination — former U.S. Rep. Jill Long Thompson and Jim Schellinger, president of an Indianapolis architecture firm – more room to compete for the party’s nod.\nHe said both were outstanding candidates and hoped the party would coalesce behind one of them so a primary contest next May could be avoided.\n“It became clear to me that if we’re going to defeat (Gov.) Mitch Daniels, and that should be our ultimate goal, we needed cohesion within the party to make that possible,” said Young, a farmer from the southern Indiana city of Milltown.\nYoung got into the race in January by forming an exploratory committee, but said he had raised only about $200,000 and was not sure if his campaign was in the black. Schellinger got into the race in March, and as of June 30 had raised about $1.2 million and spent very little of that.\nLong Thompson joined in July, after the midyear campaign finance reporting deadline. Daniels ended the first six months of this year with $4.1 million.\nDaniels is widely expected to get the Republican nomination in his run for re-election. He is being challenged by retired Bedford firefighter La Ron Keith, whose only foray into politics was an unsuccessful run for a seat on the Lawrence County Council in the late 1990s.\nYoung said he got into the race because he wanted to improve the lives of all Hoosiers, “not just a small percentage.” He alluded to Daniels’ moves and proposals to outsource state assets and services and said they were shortsighted.\n“My campaign has always been about the politics of empowerment, one that is inclusive rather than exclusive,” he said. “The kind of politics that is considered and considerate, not the politics of power that is dictatorial, demanding and ultimately destructive.”\nYoung was first elected to the Senate in 1988 and has been minority leader for the past 10 years.\nA statewide WISH-TV Indiana poll released last month showed Long Thompson with 41 percent of support from 400 likely Democratic primary voters. Young was second with 16 percent, while Schellinger had 10 percent. The subgroup poll had a margin of error of plus or minus five percentage points.\nState Democratic Chairman Dan Parker, who attended Young’s announcement at the Statehouse, has long said that he hoped the party would support one candidate so a costly primary could be avoided. But he said it was not his role to try to talk Long Thompson or Schellinger into getting out of the race.\nHe said the governor’s race was really just beginning because many people are still focused on the upcoming November municipal races.\n“I think the Democrats are going to look forward to a vigorous campaign and we’ll see where we are at the end of the year,” he said.

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