For Glenda Ritz, who took office as Indiana’s top education official this year, the awkward reality of being the lone statewide elected Democrat here did not take long to blossom into all-out combat.
Now her conflict with Gov. Mike Pence, a conservative former congressman, has become one of the most public and combative political fights to face his new administration.
Ms. Ritz has accused the governor of creating a new education agency to undermine her office. Mr. Pence says that was not his aim. But the tension, months in the making, has boiled over at monthly State Board of Education meetings, where Ms. Ritz and board members, who are appointed by the governor, continue to wrestle for control over the state’s education policies.