The public outrage directed at Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb related to his handling of the Coronavirus pandemic has captured the attention of the Associated Press.
In an article entitled, “Mask discontent could snarl Indiana governor’s reelection,” the author details how Gov. Eric Holcomb’s statewide mask mandate and other coronavirus restrictions over the past six months have prompted a revolt amongst Republicans, many of whom lost their businesses and suffered devastating financial consequences as a direct result of the shutdown.
That anger amongst Holcomb’s constituents is complicating his re-election campaign against Libertarian candidate Donald Rainwater and a woefully underfunded Democratic challenger Woody Myers.
Longtime reliable Republican voters such as Renee Willis complain Holcomb’s coronavirus orders have been “overbearing.” She partially blames the governor for the loss of her daughter’s job as a manager at a Greenfield restaurant and intends to vote for Libertarian candidate Donald Rainwater in an act of “civic outrage.”
“People have lost jobs, businesses are being forced to shut down …. we haven’t been able to go to church or see elderly family members, they’re being forced to wear masks,” said Willis, 57, of New Palestine, just east of Indianapolis. “Our constitutional rights have been infringed upon, and we’re sick of it.”
The Associated Press notes that while Governor Holcomb has lifted the state’s travel and business restrictions, limits on crowd sizes for restaurants, bars, and public events remain in place.
Most visible, however, is the statewide mask mandate that has drawn much public ire even though Holcomb dropped any possible criminal penalties for violators before it took effect July 27 in the face of objections from some law enforcement officials and conservative legislators.
Republican state Sen. Jim Tomes, whose district covers Evansville and rural areas west of the city, told the Associated Press that the voters he has talked with are fed up with the state’s mandates and plan to vent their frustration with Governor Holcomb at the ballot box.
“There are a lot of folks that just want to go back to living like Americans again,” Tomes told the AP.
Republican’s anger has provided a unique opportunity for Libertarian Donald Rainwater.
The Rainwater campaign hasn’t been able to keep up with requests for yard signs and has been raising enough money to start running cable TV and radio ads next week, which Libertarians haven’t done for many years, campaign manager Sam Goldstein said.
Holcomb might still try to save face by adjusting the mask order or easing other restrictions, Goldstein said, but “that is not going to detract from the support we’re getting from his wing of politics.”
The Chicks on the Right discussed the surprising momentum of the Rainwater campaign in today’s edition of Speed Round.