John Gregg vs. Eric Holcomb: Nonpartisan Candidate Guide For 2016 Indiana Governor’s Race

Are you looking for a nonpartisan voter guide for the John Gregg vs. Eric Holcomb Governor’s race? One that will give you an accurate, no-spin comparison of the candidates’ positions on key issues? Our Campus Election Engagement Project is a national nonpartisan initiative working to increase student electoral participation. At the request of the schools we work with, we’ve created concise nonpartisan candidate guides for the presidential race, for the importance of the 2016 election on future Supreme Court decisions, and for 20 Senate and Governor’s races, including this Governor’s race. Our lead researcher spent 19 years as a senior editor at Encyclopedia Britannica, and we invite readers to share this and our other guides as widely as possible

So here are the issue-by-issue stands for John Gregg and Eric Holcomb. Visit our Nonpartisan Candidate Guides home page to find links to all our other guides, including the Indiana Senate Guide, with most available in both online/mobile friendly and printable PDF formats.


Abortion: Should abortion be highly restricted?

Gregg: No. Personally pro-life, but believes legislature should avoid social issues. Supports allowing Planned Parenthood to receive state funding for non-abortion services.

Holcomb: Yes. Open to additional restrictions. Also opposes all Planned Parenthood funding.

Climate Change: Believe that human activity is the major factor driving climate change?

Gregg: Yes

Holcomb: It contributes, but debatable how much it contributes.

Climate Change: Should government limit the levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere?

Gregg: Balance coal jobs and environment. Accepts that new EPA regulations will happen, but believes they harm Indiana coal industry. Wants to negotiate adjusted plan with EPA.

Holcomb: No. Strongly opposes.

Education: Increase funding for K-12 education?

Gregg: Promises to fund universal Pre-Kindergarten without raising taxes and give local governments ability to raise and spend revenues.

Holcomb: States commitment to Indiana public schools, but unclear about specific plans.

Education: Provide vouchers to parents to send their children to private schools with public money?

Gregg: No. Totally against it. Takes badly needed public tax dollars out of public schools.

Holcomb: Yes. Strongly supports vouchers, as did predecessor, Mike Pence.

Education: Increase funding for higher education?

Gregg: Yes. Also plans to address affordability by adding incentives for schools to offer more financial aid, including low-interest, needs- based financial aid.

Holcomb: Unclear, but was Lt Governor running together with Mike Pence, whose administration cut funding.[1]

Gay Marriage: Support gay marriage?

Gregg: Yes. Opposed during 2012 gubernatorial race, but now supports.

Holcomb: No. Also religious freedom takes precedence over anti-discrimination provisions.[2]

Gay Rights: Should transgender individuals have the right to use public bathrooms of their choice?

Gregg: Doesn’t specifically address, but will press to include statewide LGBT discrimination protections in existing civil rights statute and to repeal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Holcomb: States zero tolerance for discrimination but supports Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allows discrimination. Believes local ordinances can sufficiently protect LGBT rights.

Gun Control: Enact more restrictive gun control legislation?

Gregg: Restrict convicted felons and people with mental health issues or on terrorist watch list.

Holcomb: No

Healthcare: Repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare?

Gregg: No[3]

Holcomb: Opposes Obamacare but focused on allowing states to offer alternative plans.

Marijuana: Decriminalize and/or legalize marijuana?

Gregg: Legalize medical marijuana. Study decriminalization for possession of small amounts.

Holcomb: Open to meeting with medical & law enforcement communities to learn more.

Minimum Wage: Raise the minimum wage?

Gregg: Believes both state and federal minimum wage should be increased.

Holcomb: No. Believes it would harm job growth and create price increases for consumers.

Renewable Energy: Support government mandates and/or subsidies for renewable energy?

Gregg: Supports tax incentives for all energy companies that reduce their impact on the environment, including coal companies. Supports promotion of renewable energy.

Holcomb: No. Similar “all of the above” approach, but with less emphasis on renewables and energy efficiency. Opposes recycling requirements.

Taxes: Increase taxes on corporations and/or high-income individuals to pay for public services?

Gregg: Unclear. Recommends slashing corporate taxes for companies investing in state. Earlier hiked gambling, sales and cigarette taxes, while lowering taxes of homeowners.

Holcomb: No. Opposes tax hikes in general.

Voting Rights: Support stricter voting rules such as voter ID requirements or reduced registration times, even if they prevent some people from voting?

Gregg: No. Proposes multiple reforms to increase voter participation.[4]

Holcomb: Unknown.


Other gubernatorial candidates include Rex Bell (L) and Adam Adkins (I). Due to limited space, we can’t include their response, but invite you to check out their websites.

Created by the Campus Election Engagement Project, a non-partisan effort to help college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders engage their schools in the election. Key sites consulted included,,,, ,, and public candidate statements. For a guide to all races, see, from the League of Women Voters, and


[3] States that regardless of individual opinions about Affordable Care Act, it is the “law of the land.” His focus will be to enforce the law in a way that benefits Hoosiers and makes healthcare more affordable and accessible.

[4] Proposed reforms include: Expanding polling hours, early voting days, opportunities to vote by mail, and acceptable forms of identification. They also include automatic voter registration and creation of Independent Redistricting Commission.