In troubled times, consistent leadership is a must, and Gov. Eric Holcomb has provided it for Indiana during a crisis unlike any we’ve ever seen.
Some have criticized the governor for ordering limitations on businesses and issuing a mandate to wear masks during the pandemic. Others have criticized him for not going far enough in shutting down Indiana, which had its highest single-day number of new positive coronavirus tests — 3,649 — reported Thursday as deaths in the state surpassed 4,000.
But Holcomb has backed his decisions on the virus by noting statistics related to hospitals and positivity percentages. And he’s done a good job of communicating with Hoosiers by initially conducting daily and then weekly press conferences. The state did drag its feet, at first, in reporting numbers of cases in individual nursing homes but has since corrected that wrongheaded policy.
Democratic challenger Woody Myers comes with an impressive resume and an extensive background in health care, which make him an attractive candidate to lead us through the COVID-19 pandemic. He is a physician who has served as Indiana state health commissioner under both Democratic and Republican administrations.
Myers’ stated goals of providing quality health care, outstanding public schools and good-paying jobs demonstrate a heart for helping Hoosiers.
What Myers lacks is the experience of holding political office, and this election comes to us at a time when we can’t afford to take chances.
Gov. Holcomb has provided steady leadership and a consistent voice during the pandemic. And, throughout his four-year term, he has avoided pushing conservative social agendas, which is more than can be said for his predecessor, Mike Pence.
Still, Holcomb’s administration has its share of continuing issues.
The Family and Social Services Administration continues to have major problems despite his efforts to fix them. While the governor has pumped more money into education, he hasn’t fixed our state’s teacher pay deficit quickly enough.
There is much work to be done in the governor’s office on these fronts and many others over the next four years.
In the gubernatorial candidate debate Tuesday night, Holcomb fielded criticism from both the left and right.
Myers accused him of being too lax in his response to the pandemic. Libertarian candidate Donald Rainwater, whose aggressive approach to limiting government has resonated with many Hoosiers, alleged that Holcomb had exceeded his authority.
We need leadership from someone who is willing to take that criticism and is willing to put party politics aside and put the safety of Hoosiers first.
Eric Holcomb has demonstrated that he is that someone.