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Gov. Pence talks reelection campaign, Buttigieg's coming out

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One day before announcing his bid for reelecition, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was in Elkhart County on Wednesday to formally sign Senate Bill 197 into law.

The law is designed to give the RV industry a boost by easing up on licensing rules. RV transporters are no longer required to have a commercial driver's license. Historically, it's been hard for companies to find these drivers, causing delays in RV shipments.

The law should make it easier to hire people to move RVs, Pence says, from manufacturers to dealerships.

Pence says he's "confident" voters will approve of his vision for Indiana.

But the race could get heated; State Superintendent of Education Glenda Ritz threw her hat into the gubernatorial ring earlier this month. And Pence is still recovering from the uproar over Indiana's religious freedom law.

Controversy swirled around Pence in late March into early April, as opponents claimed the law gave businesses and employers a legal justification to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

As tensions grew, Pence quickly asked lawmakers to tweak the language to outlaw discrimination.

But many voters felt the damage had already been done. According to a new poll released Wednesday, only 32 percent of Hoosier voters believe Pence should be reelected to another term. Meanwhile, 54 percent think it's time to find someone new.

Additionally, 46 percent of voters polled believe Pence's handling of RFRA was "an embarrassment."

The poll was commissioner by the president of Bellwether Research in Washington, D.C., and the outgoing CEO of Angie's List, an outspoken RFRA opponent.

Pence says he'd rather look to the future.

"I recognize that a couple months ago our state went through a difficult week," Pence says. "But I think elections are about the future, and we're going to lay out a vision for the future of Indiana that I'm very confident will carry it all across the state and I'm going to carry it all the way to Election Day."

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg openly criticized Pence and RFRA at the time, even calling out Pence on social media.

"Disappointed @GovPenceIN signed #RFRA and put our local non-discrimination rules at risk," Buttigieg tweeted in March. "Already turning off business that we need."

Buttigieg publicly came out as gay on Tuesday in a personal essay published in the South Bend Tribune.

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When WSBT 22 asked Pence what he thought of Buttigieg's announcement, he replied, "I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard. We have a great working relationship. I see him as a dedicated public servant, and a patriot."

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