While Indiana has a history of strong female second-in-command leaders, none have ever been elected to the state’s highest office.

The state of Indiana has never elected a woman as governor, yet women continue to hold the position of lieutenant governor. As the fall elections approach, it seems that this trend will continue. According to the Rutgers Center for American Women in Politics, Indiana is one of 18 states that have never had a female governor, but four out of the state’s past five lieutenant governors have been women.

In the upcoming gubernatorial election, Democratic candidate Jennifer McCormick is facing a tough challenge against U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, who defeated Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch in the competitive GOP primary. Following his victory, Braun selected state Rep. Julie McGuire as his pick for lieutenant governor. If party delegates support her, McGuire will become the latest female lieutenant governor in Indiana.

Despite the historical lack of a female governor in Indiana, Braun’s selection of McGuire as his running mate continues the tradition of having a woman as the number two in the state. This move also provides Braun with a sense of diversity and partially shields him from potential attacks by his Democratic opponent, McCormick.

McGuire, a conservative legislator with a focus on education, brings experience and connections to the ticket. While the lieutenant governor position holds little constitutional power, it is the first in line of succession if the governor is unable to perform their duties. The lieutenant governor also oversees several state agencies and ceremonially presides over the state Senate.

Although women have come close to holding the highest office in Indiana, such as in Crouch’s recent bid for governor, the road to the governor’s mansion has remained elusive for female candidates. Despite this, Crouch’s strong showing in the election demonstrated the progress women have made in Indiana politics.

As women continue to strive for equal representation in government, the presence of women in prominent roles like lieutenant governor in Indiana serves as a reminder of the progress that has been made. While the role of lieutenant governor may not always lead to the governorship, it remains an important position in shaping the state’s future.

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