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Written by
Tom LoBianco
Associated Press/Indianapolis Star

One of the biggest surprises of the announcement that Gov. Mitch Daniels would take over as Purdue University’s president in January was his pledge to stop campaigning and commenting on politics until then.

That statement, at least for the immediate future, placed a cap on 40 years of politicking, a career that has included his stint as President Ronald Reagan‘s political director and his extensive work building his own legacy as a two-term governor of Indiana.

It also deprives Republicans of one of their strongest weapons going into November’s elections.

“I don’t think there was any alternative to it,” Daniels said of his decision the day after he was elected university president. “My responsibilities aren’t going to change in six months, but my association with Purdue started yesterday, and I owe it to them and every member of that community to be strictly, now, as nonpartisan as the school is.”

Indiana Republicans credit Daniels with resuscitating a party that had been severely demoralized by 16 years of Democratic rule in the governor’s office. After eight years with Daniels at the helm, the tables have turned. State government rests squarely in the hands of Republicans, who control both chambers of the General Assembly, the governor’s office and a majority of appointments to the state Supreme Court.

Up for grabs in November are the governor’s office, one of Indiana’s two Senate seats and a smattering of potentially close races for Congress and the General Assembly.

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English: Indiana Governor Mitchell Daniels del...

English: Indiana Governor Mitchell Daniels delivers his remarks during an Indianapolis proclamation reception at the state capitol building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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