GARY, Ind. (AP) — A state senator from northwestern Indiana is becoming the first Democrat to take formal steps toward running for governor in next year’s election.

Sen. Eddie Melton of Gary is announcing the formation of a gubernatorial exploratory committee during a Tuesday evening event in Gary.

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(Credit: Indiana Senate Democrats)

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Melton was elected to the Senate in 2016. He was appointed by then-Gov. Mike Pence to the state Board of Education in 2015 and has become the point person for Senate Democrats on education issues. Melton is community relations manager for Northern Indiana Public Service Co.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb hasn’t yet said whether he’ll seek re-election, but his campaign ended 2018 with about $4 million in the bank.

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