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Former schools chief Jennifer McCormick invites donations as she ponders bid for governor

Former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick sits in her Statehouse office for an interview. She is a White woman with blonde hair, wearing a black top.
Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News
Former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick changed her party affiliation from Republican to Democrat in 2021.

Republican candidates are already lining up to run for governor in 2024. And Democrats are close to their first official candidate in former state school Superintendent Jennifer McCormick.

McCormick was an educator, local school principal and superintendent before she won a stunning, upset victory as a Republican in 2016 to become State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Still, despite sharing their party affiliation, she often clashed with the GOP supermajorities in the legislature over education policy. And during her tenure, Republican lawmakers changed the state superintendent position from an elected one to one appointed by the governor.

Months after leaving the job – unable to run for re-election – McCormick changed her party affiliation, becoming a Democrat. And for several weeks now, she’s hinted at a run for the open governor’s seat in 2024.

READ MORE: Former state schools superintendent is temporarily leading rural school district

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Tuesday, she began inviting people to donate to her exploratory committee, further fueling the speculation that she will become Democrats’ first official candidate this election cycle.

Candidates for statewide office can only accept donations until Jan. 9. That's when state law imposes a fundraising blackout period that lasts through the legislative session. Candidates can then resume raising money after late April.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.