Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Jon Elrod Abandons Ship?

Say it ain't so, Jo....n.

Sure, Bush's legacy in November will be as beneficial to downticket races as pizza at a Weight Watchers meeting, but I was floored to get wind of scuttlebutt that Jon Elrod, having lost to Andre Carson in the special election and seeing little hope of improving in November, is contemplating resigning his federal candidacy and jumping back into his old house district.

If he pops back into Indiana House District 97, Elrod would face Democrat Mary Ann Sullivan, who edged out city-county councilor Dane Mahern at the Marion County Democratic Party's slating convention.

The Republicans had none of that drama. In fact, nobody even filed a declaration of candidacy pre-primary. As a result, there is a candidate vacancy that must be filled by a Republican Party caucus. Ostensibly, the precinct committee persons covering HD 97 could appoint Jon Elrod, EXCEPT for one small detail. He can't run for congress and state representative at the same time, which is why David Orentlicher had to give up his state house seat. (More on that in a second).

Elrod is allegedly getting pressure from some Repubs to drop the lost cause congressional race and help the R's hold ground in the House by reclaiming a seat he won in a labor-intensive campaign against Democrat Ed Mahern in 2006.

While such a two-step of resigning the federal candidacy and getting appointed to fill the vacancy in his former seat seems completely legal by my cursory review of the election code, I'm skeptical it would be easy for Elrod to pull off politically. He basically told the folks in HD 97, "Your little pond is too small for me." I don't know how keen they'll be now to let him swim in it again just because he saw the piranhana that is the Carson machine coming at him in the congressional campaign stream.

This is a bi-partisan critique, by the way. There's a corresponding rumor that either Ed Delaney offered to withdraw his candidacy so David O. could take HIS seat back or that Delaney has been asked by some Democrats to do so. I find the former version highly suspect. Ed Delaney is no slouch, folks, and I seriously doubt he was running just because he thought it would be a fun thing to do. (I'll let you know when I sort this out).

In my opinion, the vanquished (or the "not even fully vanquished yet") shouldn't get to take their ball and run home. At least not until they regroup and come out swinging in the next election cycle.

Some may say, "What's the big deal? Presidential candidates all have other offices they hold, and they lose and go back without political fallout." First, there CAN be fallout if your state suffered a crises in your absence. Second, if there isn't fallout, it's because either:

(a) many people are wowed to see somebody from their home state playing on the national stage (Evan Bayh, for example...even as an Obama guy, seeing the Senator get national play was pretty sweet); and

(b) presidential candidacies are waged by people who gain FOR their constituents by having assembled national contacts. Hillary Clinton will have more political resources now as a Senator than she ever had before this campaign. That will make her more formidable in the Senate, and every one of her constituents will benefit.

In contrast, what can Jon Elrod say he got for HD 97 by virtue of to run....against Andre Carson? Yeah, I don't know either. Same for David O. Sit tight until the next go-round, lads. You'll come off more respectably.



Wilson46201 said...

I know of no way that either Jon Elrod or Ed Delaney can take their name off the ballot.

Actually, it'd be easier for Ed: he could move outside the District, he could be convicted of a felony or he could die. That'd create a vacancy on the ballot which could be filled by appointment by the County Chair.

Jon Elrod however is stuck running for Congress not the Indiana Legislature. He cant move outside Indiana because then he'd also be outside IN-89. A felony wouldn't disqualify him for Congress (I believe). Death is terminal for running for any political office anywhere.

So Jon is stuck getting creamed this fall...

Wilson46201 said...

Elrod's former District is 97, not 89 -- sorry!

The main point is that Indiana has no procedure for backing out off the ballot. One can file to run for an office and there's also a provision for withdrawing but that withdrawal is comfortably way before the Primary. This year the withdrawal date was February 22. After that date, there's no getting out of the process...

Elrod, Orentlicher and Delaney all are attorneys. They should know this.

Chris Worden said...


If a candidate can't voluntarily withdraw, even after a primary, how did Ed Schrock do it in Virginia?

I admittedly haven't done election law in some years, so you have to help me flesh this out for me. The Indiana Code provisions talk about a vacancy based on a challenge on residency or death filed by a third-party, but they're silent on a candidate withdrawing by his own volition. You are saying a candidate cannot file a petition to withdraw his candidacy, such as by saying, for example, "Hey, I just found out I have cancer, and even though my doctor says I'll live past the election, I'd rather spend my last days with my family then running for office." If this is true, why would the provision below refer to "any reason" instead of those listed in the challenge chapter.

IC 3-13-1-1

Application of chapter Sec. 1.

Except as provided in section 18 or 20 of this chapter, this chapter applies to the filling of a candidate vacancy that arises for any reason if the vacancy leaves a major political party without a candidate for the office and occurs before the thirtieth day before a general, special, or municipal election.

IC 3-13-1-2
Candidate vacancy for primary election; ballot not to be filled but may be filled on following general or municipal election ballot.

Sec. 2. A candidate vacancy that exists on a primary election ballot may not be filled for the primary election. The resulting vacancy on the following general or municipal election ballot may be filled in the manner prescribed by this chapter, but only if it is filled by noon June 30 before election day.

I guess my view is...unless something is expressly prohibited, how COULDN'T Elrod withdraw?

What's different under Indiana law that would keep Elrod from just saying, "No Mas!"

Anonymous said...

Two things come to mind. I dont want Elrod to resign. I want Andre to have an opponent so he needs to fire up that vote producing machine and kick his silly ass. As for 97, anyone who knows Mary Ann Sullivan knows the hard work that she has been putting in as an unopposed candidate. Elrod would get his behind kicked there also. He is toast either way.

David O can forget running for either office. He insisted on running for congress against the slate and causing bad feelings. Delaney can handle that district. David O would listen to no on even though almost every body told him to not run against the slate. As a former supporter of David O., I can state right now that I will never vote for him for anything and there are hundreds of us out here who were formerly in his camp who will not vote for him either.

Chris Worden said...

Wilson could be on the money. This will be a matter of state election law. When Mark Foley resigned in Florida, his name still had to appear on the ballot because of Florida election law.

I, too, can't find a specific procedure under Indiana for withdraw (other than the provision about a third-party challenge), BUT unlike Florida, Indiana specific says that if there is a vacancy for "any reason," the name can come off the ballot. This is different than in Florida.

The short of it is...get the lawyers...STAT!

Wilson46201 said...

I know of no way a candidate can voluntarily withdraw after that official withdrawal-of-candidacy date. A vacancy on the ballot can occur solely based on non-residency, felony-conviction or death.

Of course, I'd love to have poor Jon Elrod admit that he knows he's going to get skunked again by our progressive new Democratic Congressman André Carson...

Anonymous said...

7:45's feelings seem to be really hurt. How dare David O allow the voters of the 7th the opportunity to second guess the political insiders who slated Andre?

Get over it. Get over yourself. The party and the state needs David, and he'll be around, in one way or another.

Anonymous said...

There is no way Jon is dropping out. In fact, he has a very real chance of upsetting Carson. The majority of Dems voted for a candidate other than Carson in the Primary. Jon is running a grass roots campaign, and will try to talk to as many voters as he can to show them that he is capable and independant, and that Carson is inept and unqualified to be a member of Congress.

Anonymous said...

A candidate may withdraw from the general election ballot until NOON on July 15.

Wilson46201 said...

The voters of the 7th have already decisively rejected Jon Elrod once in favor of our progressive new Democratic Congressman André Carson. Why would any Democratic voters now pick poor Jon Elrod the 2nd time around? Carson had almost $ 3 million spent against him in the primary but he still got more votes than his top 2 challengers combined. Elrod also reports he still owes money from this spring, how is he going to run a campaign in the fall without money?

Wilson46201 said...

anonymous lady: please cite code for your assertion about the summer withdrawal date!

Sean Shepard said...

Wilson wrote: "I'd love to have poor Jon Elrod admit that he knows he's going to get skunked again by our progressive new Democratic Congressman André Carson..."

How unfortunate that socialism, completely against the principles our country was founded on, is so popular. And how doubly unfortunate that so few will stand against it when the promise of big government doing everything for everybody is so alluring.

Elrod is very likely to get smoked in November. Obama will be a big draw in the 7th district and party line voting is strong no matter who is on the ballot.

Wilson46201 said...

Democratic representative republicanism as enshrined in our U. S. Constitution is a bitch, ain't it? Libertarians would surely massively win elections if it weren't for all those pesky voters getting in the way...

Anonymous said...

I sincerely doubt Elrod would want to remove his name. I know that DeLaney has no intention of doing so, either. David O helped recruit Ed DeLaney, and is committed to helping DeLaney's election campaign, so there's no way David O would be party such shenanigans.

Of course Elrod COULD remove his name from the ballot if he wanted. The deadline for removing his name is 30 days before the election. That doesn't happen until October. The rules Wilson cites form the basis for CHALLENGING a name on the ballot, and they do not apply to someone who takes his OWN name off the ballot. Here's the relevant law:

IC 3-8-8-7
"Termination of challenge regardless of status of challenge or appeal; status of candidate who withdraws after 30 days before election"
Sec. 7. [...]
(b) All of the following apply if a candidate attempts to withdraw as a candidate after noon thirty (30) days before the general election:
(1) The name of the candidate may not be removed from the ballot.
(2) The name of another individual may not replace the name of the candidate on the ballot.
(3) Any votes cast for the candidate shall be canvassed, counted, and reported under the name of the candidate.
As added by P.L.230-2005, SEC.32.

All this implies that it is OKAY for a candidate to remove his name BEFORE noon on the 30th day before the election.

Anonymous said...

Notice of withdrawal; withdrawal; disqualification; moving out of district
Sec. 28. (a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), if a nominee certified under this chapter, IC 3-8-5, IC 3-8-6, or IC 3-10-1 desires to withdraw as the nominee, the nominee must file a notice of withdrawal in writing with the public official with whom the certificate of nomination was filed by noon:
(1) July 15 before a general or municipal election;
(2) August 1 before a municipal election in a town subject to IC 3-8-5-10;
(3) on the date specified for town convention nominees under IC 3-8-5-14.5;
(4) on the date specified for declared write-in candidates under IC 3-8-2-2.7; or
(5) forty-five (45) days before a special election.
(b) A candidate who is disqualified from being a candidate under

IC 3-8-1-5 must file a notice of withdrawal immediately upon becoming disqualified. The filing requirements of subsection (a) do not apply to a notice of withdrawal filed under this subsection.
(c) A candidate who has moved from the election district the candidate sought to represent must file a notice of withdrawal immediately after changing the candidate's residence. The filing requirements of subsection (a) do not apply to a notice of withdrawal filed under this subsection.

Anonymous said...

Andre got 46.52% of the vote in the Demo primary which had 8 candidates.....he was heavily outspent..........he is a hard worker. Barring a major error which I dont forsee, he will be re elected. Poor Elrod is in a lose-lose situation. Elrod has to decide whether he would like to be a losing congressional candidate or a losing state rep candidate if he is legally able to get off of the ballot.

Chris Worden said...

As usual, a LADY clarifies things. Looks like Elrod can definitely do this if he wants. Thanks!

Wilson46201 said...

I would not be unhappy to see Jonathon Elrod even try to withdraw his name from the Congressional ballot. Of course, I wish him the best of luck in his withdrawal attempts!

Go for it, Jon !

P.S. If Jonathon Elrod is successful in backing out, who would the GOP appoint as the replacement sacrificial lamb? After all, wasn't Jonathon Elrod a sacrificial lamb himself in the first place?

Anonymous said...

help me out...IF Elrod could withdraw from the congressional race, I am under the impression that Federal law governs the replacement on the ballot and that it might be too late. There are times I wish I was a lawyer so I could figure this out..................

Anonymous said...

To 4:02: A Congressional vacancy is filled by a "caucus comprised by the precinct committeemen of the political party whose precincts are within the congressional district". IC 3-13-1-4. If Elrod withdrew, the Republican party would have 30 days to hold a caucus and select his replacement. IC 3-13-1-7(b)(2).

PS Lady is correct in her earlier citations. Voluntary withdrawals are allowed until noon on July 15th.

Wilson46201 said...

I called up the State Elections folk -- they agreed that a candidate can withdraw before noon, July 15. They even cited Sen. Meeks withdrawal for health reasons this year as an example...

Go for it, Jon!

Anonymous said...

Poor JOn....cant decided which office he would rather be the loser......these hard decisions......maybe Daddy can help him thing, the congressional race has no residency requirements where the state rep race does.....and who knows where Elrod really lives.

Chris Worden said...

Anon 12:47...if Brent Waltz can beat his residency challenge, anybody can.

Jacob Perry said...

Old least two months old (and that's when I first heard it, which means it was likely going around before then).

Does it really matter in the end?

Anonymous said...

Democradamus strikes again!