In recent months, much has been said and written about the Indiana Democratic Party’s challenge to my candidacy and election. Months to you have felt like years to me, and I welcome the end to this chapter with today’s findings of the Indiana Recount Commission — whatever they may be.
It was unnecessary and cruel to drag my family into this matter. Much of what forms the basis of the dispute in this challenge and the criminal action in Hamilton County center on my attempts to put the needs of my family first — to respect the wishes of my wife, Michelle, and her children, and my desire to be near and share custody of my son with my former wife and friend, Nicole, during my campaign. Both Michelle and Nicole have been targeted or questioned by prosecutors and the Democrats’ legal team. I’m relieved our side of the story is now public record.
Speculation that my refusal to withdraw or resign from my duties as secretary of state because I hoped to “cut a deal” was simply wrong. I have rejected calls to quit the race and office because of my earnest belief that the election challenge is based on false, partisan allegations. Further, I believe in the due process rights guaranteed in our Constitution. Finally, after I invested two years of my life interviewing for this office, nearly 1 million Hoosiers hired me to do this job.
Pundits and partisans have suggested that, regardless of the facts and law, the Recount Commission is poised to deliver a partisan decision. This is an insult to the hard work and integrity of all who have participated in the process and who have publicly pledged to keep party politics out of the decision. To suggest anything else turns a blind eye to a transparent process leading up to today. The efforts of the Recount Commission and courts in this case have demonstrated considerable, even extravagant, deference to a losing candidate’s rights after an election — a process our lawmakers typically expect to be concluded 45 days after Election Day. Eight months after Nov. 2, 2010, we find ourselves here.
Having endured the challenges, frustrations and expense of the election contest thus far, I would like to make it perfectly clear that I have no desire either for myself or my political party to be handed an election contest victory if it is not honestly and fairly won. I have no request or expectation of the Recount Commission other than that they decide the case strictly on the facts and law as they see it.