John Gregg smiled broadly, laughed and patted backs as he ambled from one packed lunch table to another at the Coffee Cup restaurant.
“I want those fried potatoes,” he told guests at one table during an Oct. 11 apperance. “Everything good with you all?”
He told a quick, light-hearted story about a woman who had walked up to him earlier in the day to say, “You’re not near as heavy in real life.”
Wearing a dark suit and striped tie, he stood at another table with his left hand in his pocket, putting his hand on people’s shoulders as he inquired about their lives.
“What yields are you getting?” he asked a bearded farmer who wore a ball cap, green shirt and jeans.
Gregg, 58, is an old pro at this, getting people to enjoy themselves and his company. He is quick to laugh or tell one of his standard jokes — “I’m the guy with two first names running for governor” — or making reference to his most noticeable physical feature, his walrus-like mustache, which frequently is bracketed by lines in his smiling cheeks.
The gubernatorial candidate and attorney served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1986 to 2002, including as speaker from 1996 to 2002.
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