Jill Long Thompson officially kicked off her run for the statehouse yesterday at several locations around the state. Many of us have been waiting for several months for this occasion – since Jill began talking about running earlier this year. Jill has traveled the state and spoken with groups, generating excitement as to when and where she would announce her run.
Well, yesterday was it, and she gave her speech before a crowd of about 100 “Jill enthusiasts.” Jill is an articulate speaker who knows what she wants to say and says it succinctly and with certainty. While many issues exist which no doubt will be addressed throughout her campaign, today she focused on her love of Indiana and how her leadership in combination with the help of her fellow Hoosiers would make Indiana a far better place.
Jill is a Hoosier. She was born in Kosciusko County and raised on a farm in next-door rural Whitley County, where her parents still reside. She and her husband, a pilot for a major airline, reside in Marshall County. Her education was earned in Indiana as well: a B.S. in 1974 from Valparaiso University, an M.B.A. in 1978 from Indiana Univesity, and a Ph.D in Business in 1984 from Indiana University.
One of the biggest tricks in the history of the Hoosier state occurred in 2004 when Mitch Daniels put on his flannel shirts, climbed into an RV, and donned an “Aw Shucks” persona which rivaled the best of magic tricks. And, it worked. Indiana voters bought his act. But it didn’t take long for the voters to realize that the man they elected had been an illusion. Once the election was over, gone were the flannel shirts and the country “schtick”; in their place, a man bent on molding the state into his image of management by privatization.
Jill Long Thompson will replace that illusion with real leadership arising from her Indiana roots and heritage and her vision for a better Indiana built with the help of all Hoosiers.