On the eve of Election Day, John Gregg, Democratic candidate for governor, returned home to the Wabash Valley and stopped by Vigo County Democratic headquarters on South Third Street.
There, he greeted enthusiastic campaign volunteers as well as Democratic candidates and office holders before heading back to Sandborn, where he planned to fix supper for family, spend the night and then vote at 7 a.m.
His Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, did a flyaround Monday covering all corners of the state.
At Vigo County Democratic headquarters late Monday afternoon, the room buzzed as Gregg milled about, shaking hands, giving hugs and thanking everyone for their hard work.
County Commissioners Judy Anderson asked everyone to quiet down a little so Gregg could speak. “Just a second, guys. I know everyone’s so excited to meet the next governor of the state of Indiana,” she said.
Earlier in the day, Gregg had made a southern Indiana swing and met with media in Louisville and Evansville. He ended his day of campaigning in friendly, familiar territory.
“I just want to say thank you,” Gregg told those assembled. “What you’re doing is so important. This race is going to come down to who gets their votes out.”
The race “is statistically dead-even, tied. What that means is, he’s still going down, we’re still going up,” Gregg said to applause. “Everything you do from here on out until tomorrow night at 6:01 p.m. will make a huge difference.”
Gregg asked campaign volunteers to work hard to persuade those still undecided. “We are going to win this,” he said. “We’re peaking at the right time.”
He again attacked Pence for his “hypocrisy” in using a Silverado pickup as an election year prop even though Pence voted against plans to bail out the company that makes it.
Also, he said, people “are starting to realize that the Pence-Mourdock ticket is extremely out of step.” Mourdock, a Republican, is running for U.S. Senate.
In an interview, Gregg talked about his proposals to create 97,000 jobs “to work on our roads and bridges in Indiana.” Other plans call for having a pre-kindergarten program and targeting tax cuts to benefit small businesses.
“We have a way to pay for all of ours. We’re not touching the state surplus,” he said.
Last week, a Howey Politics/DePauw University poll conducted in late October had Pence with 47 percent support compared with 40 percent for Gregg.
On Monday, Pence did a flyaround, visiting Mishawaka, Lake County, Evansville and Jeffersonville, said Christy Denault, communications director for Pence.
He stopped at coffee shops and helped campaign volunteers make phone calls. “All the numbers we’re seeing in early voting and polls … show that our positive campaign will be a winning campaign,” Denault said.
Back in Vigo County, Gregg told fellow Democrats that he hadn’t been home in 23 days, and he planned to return to Sandborn Monday night to fix supper for his parents and two sons.
Today, after voting, he’ll briefly work at a polling site in Knox County before heading to Indianapolis, where he’ll do the same and await results in the evening.
At one point, he whispered because he didn’t want to interrupt a campaign worker talking on the phone. One person told him, “You don’t have to be quiet,” but Gregg answered, “He’s getting votes.”
By then, the crowd of supporters had grown. “It’s great to be back home here in the Wabash Valley,” Gregg said.
Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or email@example.com.