Josh Owens, the CEO of Indianapolis-based online retailer SupplyKick, has announced his bid for governor of Indiana. This makes Owens the first openly gay major party candidate to run for the governor’s office in the state.
In his campaign announcement, found below, Owens says that his running ticket is based on teacher pay, equality, and anti-discrimination.
“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. We need a leader who will ensure our state budget, policies and laws reflect a bold and inclusive vision for collective Hoosier success. Today, many Indiana teachers have to work second jobs and even then, they spend their own money on classroom supplies. As a businessman, I know every Hoosier in the workplace matters, and leadership is required to solve this problem and finally pay them fairly.”
Though, WBAA reports that the 34-year-old CEO also has other issues on his agenda. For instance, he’s pushing for marijuana decriminalization, LGBTQ rights, and universal background checks for gun purchases.
“Listen, every day I bring a diverse set of stakeholders to the table and we have conversations about what can and can’t get done – but also, how do we set that priority so that we can move that discussion forward and move it faster towards what we actually want to achieve,” Owens told the news source.
To many, Owens would be a breath of fresh air in the governor seat. Current U.S. Vice President Mike Pence held the position before heading off to D.C. to join Donald Trump. In his stead, Eric Joseph Holcomb took on the position of State Governor. That said, it was more of the same as Holcomb was the lieutenant governor of Indiana before Mike Pence left.
But there would be some of that legacy with Owens too. Owens, a Democrat, previously served as the chair of Indiana’s Charter School Board, and was appointed by Mike Pence himself. That said, there is plenty different between Owen’s political agenda and that of Pence/Holcomb’s legacy. And because of that, he’ll be one to watch.