Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch is running for governor in 2024, she announced Monday in a glitzy campaign video and a tour of the state she began in her hometown of Evansville.
Crouch stuck to familiar Republican themes and avoided criticizing Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), her main opponent for the GOP nomination in a primary contest still roughly 18 months away. She promised parents would control what their children are taught in public schools, vowed robust funding for the police, and said she would take on President Joe Biden on issues relating to border security and the proliferation of illegal fentanyl sales.
“When it comes to deadly fentanyl arriving in Indiana through our country’s wide-open southern border, I’m going to show Biden what playing hardball with people who kill Hoosiers looks like,” Crouch says in the video, which features her talking straight to the camera in between clips of her interacting with adults and children.
In the video, the lieutenant governor referred to the president once, identifying him only by his last name.
For years, Indiana was a state that supported Democrats and Republicans, backing Barack Obama for president in 2008 and sending a Democrat to the Senate in 2012. But the state has trended Republican since then, and the GOP now holds all statewide constitutional offices and both U.S. Senate seats. Former President Donald Trump won the state overwhelmingly in 2016 and 2020.
That dynamic is likely to fuel a competitive gubernatorial primary in which candidates work hard not to get outflanked on their right. Evansville, where Crouch launched her statewide introductory tour on Monday, is a town of just 120,000 people in south-central Indiana, along the Ohio River that borders Kentucky.