"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.
The Democrat notably launched his candidacy the same year another Hoosier, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, launched a historic bid for the presidency.
Owens, a 34-year-old business leader, is the first gay man to run for governor of Indiana, an office just recently held by Vice President Mike Pence, whose tenure was marked by homophobic policy. Owens, an Indiana native, lives in Indianapolis with husband Andy Owens.
Of course, the tech leader will focus on an array of issues important to Indiana voters. He wants to eliminate textbook fees in public schools, increase accessibility to lifelong learning, increase the age for smoking while decriminalizing marijuana, and strengthening background checks.
"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."
But he also has included as a major plank of his platform the implementation of housing and workforce protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Should he win, that would mark a distinct policy shift in Indiana from 2015's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which initially enshrined such discrimination into state law.
His record of business success includes running Supplykick since 2015, which during his tenure earned TechPoint's "Best of Tech" Mira Award for Scale-up of the Year and made it onto the Inc. 500 list of Fastest Growing Companies in America.