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Indiana has a history of prominent women serving as second-in-command, but none have ever held its highest office

Sen. Mike Braun (Via Ben Hales/Shutterstock)

Women have never become Indiana’s governor, but they continue to hold the state’s second-highest office, a trend likely to continue in the upcoming fall elections.

Indiana is among 18 states that have never elected a female governor, despite four of the state’s last five lieutenant governors being women, according to the Rutgers Center for American Women in Politics.

Jennifer McCormick, a Democratic candidate for governor, faces a tough challenge against U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, who decisively defeated Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch in the recent competitive and costly Republican gubernatorial primary.

Following his victory, Braun chose state Rep. Julie McGuire as his lieutenant governor nominee. If party delegates support her, McGuire would be the latest woman to hold Indiana’s second-in-command position.

Laura Merrifield Wilson, a political science professor at the University of Indianapolis, noted, “Braun is likely to become the next governor, and choosing McGuire continues that tradition. There’s always a female lieutenant governor, but never a female governor.”

Suzanne Crouch (Via Ben Hales/Shutterstock)

Just two years ago, McGuire defeated Republican John Jacob, known for his strong stance against abortion, which caused discord within his party. Indiana law permits abortion only in rare and specific cases.

Wilson observed that having a woman on his ticket provides Braun with diversity credentials and could shield him from attacks by McCormick, but may not significantly sway November voters.

Influential Republicans are rallying behind Braun and McGuire, despite a challenge from a conservative pastor from Noblesville in the upcoming GOP convention on June 15. Traditionally, convention delegates support the gubernatorial nominee’s choice.

McGuire, known for her conservative legislative record with a focus on education, was likely chosen by Braun for her recent legislative experience and influence, Wilson added.

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