Democrat Jill Long Thompson is hoping to do something on Election Day that she couldn’t accomplish in the May primary election, carry Howard County.

Long Thompson received 42 percent of the county vote in the May primary election against businessman Jim Schellinger.

She is hoping that Howard County voters will help her defeat incumbent Republican Mitch Daniels and become Indiana’s first female governor.

“Howard County is very important,” Long Thompson said during Friday’s stop at Richard’s Restaurant to meet with voters and local party officials. “I live in southern Marshall County, so this is part of our home community.”

Focusing on a consistent theme of her campaign, Long Thompson said Indiana has been losing too many good-paying manufacturing jobs during Daniels’ first term in office.

“My reason for running for governor is to create economic growth and bring jobs that pay enough to support a family,” she said. “There is no reason Hoosiers should only make 87-cents on the dollar relative to the rest of America.”

Jobs Indiana is losing pay $70,000 per year with benefits and are being replaced with jobs that pay $43,000 per year with benefits, she said.

“Change in economic opportunity, creating good-paying jobs is important to Howard County,” she said, “and my position is if you want more of the same job loss and selling off of the state’s assets, then Mitch Daniels is your guy. If you want change that will take us in a new direction, create good-paying jobs and stop the outsourcing of state contracts, then I’m your person.”

When asked about the struggling automotive industry and Chrysler’s future, Long Thompson said she would work with Congress on a bailout package and use the tools available to the state.

“We have a very talented work force that understands manufacturing and how to be more efficient and productive,” she continued. “We need new product areas, wind generators, components that go into solar generators, we know how to produce batteries. Going to be a demand for new types of batteries to store solar energy and we need to take advantage of that.”

Concerning the privatization of some state assets, like the Indiana Toll Road and the Family and Social Service Agency, Long Thompson said she would appoint a bipartisan committee to look at every privatization contract.

“Determine what our legal options are and then proceed in a direction that is in the best interests of Hoosiers,” she said. “I’ve always been struck by the irony that Gov. Daniels was privatizing our family and social services at the same time that Texas was canceling their contract with the same vendor. They are not performing the job in Indiana, but we are sending our tax dollars out of Indiana to support an out-of-state company.”

Commenting the long history of labor unions in Howard County and the state, Long Thompson said she would work with local officials, labor and the business community to bring good-paying jobs to the state.

“You can’t have a strong economy without a strong middle class,” she said. “You can’t have a strong middle class without organized labor fighting for families.”

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