Dr. Woody Myers is running for governor.
The former Indiana state health commissioner announced his gubernatorial candidacy July 10 during a press conference outside of the building in which he used to practice medicine — the former Wishard Hospital emergency room.
Myers will run as a Democrat for the 2020 election. Invoking his history in the medical field, Myers pitched himself as a doctor who can treat Indiana’s ills such as the state of its education and public health systems.
“I’m running for governor because Indiana has too many pre-existing conditions that typical politicians just can’t treat, and treating tough problems is what I do,” Myers said.
Myers emphasized fixing the state’s education system in his announcement. He said his history growing up in Indianapolis Public Schools is now motivation for making education a prominent theme of his campaign. Myers critiqued the state’s lack of education funding, overcrowded classes, music and art classes becoming optional and teachers leaving the state for better pay. Some of his solutions to fix these problems include stopping education cuts and increasing teacher pay.
“I’m deeply worried about the education cuts that are driving teachers, like the ones I had, out of our state in record numbers, and the students who won’t get the same support and encouragement I received,” Myers said.
Myers said, if elected, public health will be another high priority. He highlighted Indiana’s infant and maternal mortality rates as a public health crisis that he wants to address as governor.
“As a physician and as health commissioner, I have seen firsthand how decisions made by politicians can impact the lives of so many people,” Myers said.
In addition to discussing the issues, Myers also said his history makes him qualified to be governor, citing his experience as state health commissioner under Govs. Evan Bayh and Robert Orr. Myers is currently owner of Myers Ventures LLC, which he touted as useful experience in the private sector.
“I think Dr. Myers is one of the most qualified candidates for governor that I’ve ever seen,” Max Glass, Myers’ campaign manager, said. “I think he is going to be able to bring a fresh perspective to Indiana and really start to solve problems, bring people together and create new opportunities for the state.”
Contact staff writer Ben Lashar at 317-762-7848. Follow him on Twitter @BenjaminLashar.