Rokita has the credentials to be a credible candidate for governor and his current term ends in 2010. He faces a limit of two terms as secretary of state.
Rokita's advantage is his record as a successful statewide candidate, winning the race for secretary of state in 2002 and 2006. One disadvantage is that he is not a social conservative, in contrast to many of the delegates to a state Republican convention.
Zoeller's advantage is his service as deputy to Steve Carter, who announced Sunday that he would not seek another term as attorney general. Zoeller ran for the office in 1996, losing the nomination to Carter. Franklin College Journalism Professor John Krull calls Zoeller a "formidable" candidate, though he has not run statewide like Rokita. "Greg is articulate, smart," Krull said. "He's got that Rex Early quality, regular guy, approachable. He looks like the kind of guy you'd bump into at the diner even when it's not election time."
Family values activist John Price suggests that Zoeller also could have a philosophical or ideological advantage at the convention. "A lot of people I know are going to be for Greg Zoeller," Price said. "He's a movement conservative, pro-life."
John Price seems to think that Rokita is unacceptable to "social conservatives" because he's not seen as a "movement conservative." I guess folks like Price are still miffed that Rokita adopted a non-discrimination policy for his office that protects his employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Gov. Daniels adopted a very similar policy early in his administration. Price, incidentally, is the attorney who initiated the lawsuit against the newspaper formerly owned by Pulliam's family accusing a homosexual cabal within the newspaper of discriminating against two former editors because of their Christian beliefs. Price withdrew from the case before a federal court judge tossed the case this week on a summary judgment motion. Rex Early tells Pulliam he thinks Daniels will call the shot in the end since the candidate will be on the ballot with him this year. He's probably right.