The news is out today that Democratic gubernatorial candidate, John Gregg, has chosen Representative Christina Hale as his running mate for lieutenant governor. She is a Democrat, representing Indianapolis’s District 87 since 2012. Prior to that, she worked as chief communications officer for Kiwanis International and spent some time as a reporter for the LaPorte Herald during college.
I first became aware of Rep. Hale through her efforts with respect to the under reporting of sex crimes against girls. At the time, Rep. Hale was working with the Criminal Law & Sentencing Study Committee because, as she reported:
[A]ccording to the Center for Disease Control, one in six girls in Indiana has been raped or sexually assaulted. Rep. Hale further indicated that the number is actually higher because crimes are under-reported. According to federal data, Indiana is the second worst state in the nation for rape and sexual assault against high school aged girls.
And, in fact, she has continued her work to combat sex crimes. You can see her legislative initiatives for 2015 and 2016. She has worked with a number of bills involving subjects such as rape, harassment, domestic battery, human trafficking, and underage prostitution.
If a Gregg/Hale ticket is successful, it appears very evident that they will have a more effective relationship with the Indiana General Assembly. While the General Assembly will almost certainly continue to be dominated by Republicans, the fact is that Gregg & Hale have a lot more experience with the legislative process than Pence and Holcomb. I don’t know much about Holcomb. He definitely seems to have his strengths, but it’s pretty easy to argue that Gov. Pence traded down with respect to his ability to navigate the legislature when he ditched former Lt. Governor Sue Ellsperman. Ellsperman was highly regarded and had served in the Indiana House of Representatives. Even so, the Pence administration has often seemed to have trouble communicating effectively with the General Assembly and navigating the legislative process.
John Gregg, of course, was Speaker of the House and, in that capacity, seems to have managed a good working relationship with the Senate Republicans across the hall. Rep. Hale is probably a choice that adds to that strength.