Former Bayh Aide Sugar Won't Run For Gov Because Of His Own Party

Sep 22, 2015

Sugar, in a note on Facebook, chides fellow Democrats for not wanting a primary fight for 2012 nominee John Gregg.
Credit Tom Sugar Facebook

Former Evan Bayh chief of staff Tom Sugar will not run for governor.

Sugar had been flirting with a bid for the Democratic nomination, to be centered on the issue of redistricting reform. Sugar founded the nonprofit Lead or Leave to campaign for independently drawn districts, and is serving on a legislative study committee reviewing the issue.

In a three-page statement posted on Facebook, Sugar charges the Indiana Democratic Party and key Democratic donors sought to discourage him from running, to keep the field clear for 2012 nominee John Gregg. He calls that stance "wrongheaded" and says the party should have the confidence "to welcome new leaders, new energy and new ideas."

But Sugar says he couldn't afford the financial sacrifice of quitting his job at Lead or Leave. He says he created a small business to try to fill the gap, but couldn't sign enough clients who would pledge not to seek help on state government matters.

Sugar's decision leaves only one potential obstacle to Gregg's renomination. Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott has left the door open to a run for either governor or the U.S. Senate.