Indianapolis Business Leader & Education Advocate Josh Owens Seeks New Role: Indiana Governor

Indianapolis Business Leader & Education Advocate Josh Owens Seeks New Role: Indiana Governor

INDIANAPOLIS – September 16, 2019 – Saying Indiana’s teachers deserve better pay and all Hoosiers deserve to feel safe and protected, business leader Democrat Josh Owens today filed paperwork for the 2020 Governor’s race.

“I’m running for Governor now because I believe in an Indiana where teachers are paid what they deserve and where all are welcomed, respected and protected,” Owens said. “We need a leader who will ensure our state budget, policies and laws reflect a bold and inclusive vision for collective Hoosier success.”

Owens, 34, is a Democrat and a Shelbyville native who leads one of the state’s fastest growing companies where employees earn a minimum annual salary of $50,000. He serves on the boards of TechPoint Indiana, Indy Chamber, the Orr Fellowship and previously chaired the Indiana Charter School Board.

“Today, many Indiana teachers have to work second jobs and even then, they spend their own money on classroom supplies,” Owens said. “As a businessman, I know every Hoosier in the workplace matters, and leadership is required to solve this problem and finally pay them fairly.”

In addition to formally declaring his candidacy, Owens released a video announcement and detailed campaign agenda on his website: He said he will focus his campaign on: 

  • Paying teachers more and eliminating textbook fees for public school students,
  • Increasing accessibility and affordability of life-long learning for all Hoosiers,
  • Increasing the smoking age and decriminalizing marijuana to invest those funds towards lower healthcare costs,
  • Adding housing and workplace protections from discrimination for all Hoosiers including for sexual orientation or gender identity, and
  • Requiring strengthened background checks for any public or private gun purchases.

Indiana law requires gubernatorial candidates to be at least 30 years old. At 34, Owens would not be the youngest elected governor. Evan Bayh was 32 when elected and James Ray was 30. Owens would be the first openly gay candidate for Indiana governor, but he hopes the campaign will be issues-based.

“I’m passionate about making Indiana the best state it can be and giving every single Hoosier the economic, education, and community support they deserve,” Owens said. 

At SupplyKick since 2015, Owens’ leadership has earned the company TechPoint’s “Best of Tech” Mira Award for Scale-up of the Year and inclusion in the Inc. 500 list of Fastest Growing Companies in America. He gained business acumen through marketing positions at Angie’s List and One Click Ventures. He also served as an instructor of economics and statistics in the Butler University Lacy School of Business where he taught over 2,000 students and led the successful development of multiple online and hybrid courses. 

A lifelong Hoosier, Owens grew up in Shelbyville where his parents and family still live. He graduated from Wabash College in Crawfordsville and later earned his MSc in economic history at the London School of Economics. Josh and his husband Andy live in Indianapolis.

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