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Former schools chief Jennifer McCormick invites donations as she ponders bid for governor

Republican candidates are already lining up to run for governor in 2024. And Democrats are close to their first official candidate in former state school Superintendent Jennifer McCormick.

McCormick was an educator, local school principal and superintendent before she won a stunning, upset victory as a Republican in 2016 to become State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Still, despite sharing their party affiliation, she often clashed with the GOP supermajorities in the legislature over education policy. And during her tenure, Republican lawmakers changed the state superintendent position from an elected one to one appointed by the governor.

Months after leaving the job – unable to run for re-election – McCormick changed her party affiliation, becoming a Democrat. And for several weeks now, she’s hinted at a run for the open governor’s seat in 2024.

READ MORE: Former state schools superintendent is temporarily leading rural school district

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Tuesday, she began inviting people to donate to her exploratory committee, further fueling the speculation that she will become Democrats’ first official candidate this election cycle.

Candidates for statewide office can only accept donations until Jan. 9. That's when state law imposes a fundraising blackout period that lasts through the legislative session. Candidates can then resume raising money after late April.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.