Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Marion County Democrats Weather Republican Onslaught; GOP Claims 60 Reps at the Statehouse?

Whether many Democrats will say it publicly, the clip below likely typifies many of their sentiments this morning. (Profanity warning!)

To quote Lawrence Township Trustee Russ Brown, Marion County was an island of blue in a red wave yesterday.

Democrats got trounced nationally, giving up control of the U.S. House of Representatives, in part, courtesy of Indiana’s 8th and 9th Congressional District losses, which served as sandwich bread for the main entrĂ©e of the Dems’ cough-up of their U.S. Senate seat to uber-lobbyist Dan Coats.

Dems got trounced in Indiana. The best performing D statewide candidate, treasurer candidate, Pete Buttigieg, garnered only 38%. Despite running against a guy being investigated by two special prosecutors, Vop Osili still got only 37%. I had speculated that Vop might poll less well than expected because of his unusual name, but apparently the only name that bothered voters yesterday was the Democrative Party’s.

Dems got trounced in local races. Depending on the outcome of the Bob Deig/Wendy McNamara race in Southwestern Indiana, the GOP will go from 48 members in the Indiana House of Representatives to 59 or 60.

Deig’s situation is a fascinating illustration on the perils of electoral musical chairs. When Senator Bayh (playing the little kid who accidentally knocks down the first domino) vacated his seat, Ellsworth went up from the 8th, a seat he would have likely kept. Then Trent Van Haaften went from state rep into Ellsworth's slot, and Deig jumped over to run in Van Haaften’s house seat, presumably thinking it would be fun to be in the house majority.

If Deig wins, which is iffy given that he holds only a 30-vote lead with 2 precincts still to be accounted for, he would have certainly become the political version of Randy Moss, but for the fact Indiana Senate Democrats somehow managed to lose four of their seventeen seats.

Deig’s vacated senate seat (which Deig might have maintained had he stayed put) was lost to Republican Jim Tones. Senate Republicans also took Connie Sipes’ open seat and knocked off Democratic senate icon, Jim Lewis, and social justice champion, Sue Errington.

The remaining Senate Democrats (a/k/a "The Unlucky Thirteen") will be able to hold their caucus meetings in the coat closet, and they may need to ask the GOP to loan them some ringers just to fill the minority chair slots on senate committees.

But amidst the smoldering wreckage, shattered glass, and charred remains arose the Democrats of Marion County, who elected Terry Curry as prosecutor with 52% and kept the sheriff, auditor, clerk, recorder, and assessor positions (Colonel John Layton, Billie Breaux, Beth White, Julie Voorhies, and Joe O’Connor, respectively).

This is huge because someone can finally look under the hood of the Daniels administration to see if they've been shadily hocking parts we need to keep the governmental engine running smoothly.

Though Democrats suffered a heart-crushing loss of State Representative John Barnes, the other Marion County newbie Dems – Representatives Mary Ann Sullivan and Ed Delaney – pulled through strongly.

Democrats also fared relatively well in township elections. Jeff Bennett and Russ Brown retained their trusteeships in Warren and Lawrence respectively, along with incumbent trustees Frank Short in Washington, Lula Patton in Pike, and Wally Akers in Center.

Other than John Barnes’ loss, the only dimming of Marion County's Democratic wattage was the body blow delivered to the entire Wayne Township government. Wayne Township Trustee David King Baird was defeated, as was constable Bill Newman and Small Claims Judge Maxine King, though the latter two races may be subject to recounts, given these losses were by 37 and 68 votes respectively. Some Democratic insiders are not broken up by Baird’s loss, as he has created some PR problems for the party, and it is an almost certain D pick-up in four years (assuming the office still exists then).

Out in Lawrence Township, party stalwart and Indianapolis Times blogger, Terry Burns, can almost certainly expect a recount, given his 118-vote victory, but for the moment, he is our Lawrence Township Constable. Also in Lawrence, Democrat Judy Conley nearly knocked off incumbent Lawrence Small Claims Judge Jim Joven, who may be facing a recount of his own.

In short, the Democratic state of affairs may be a mess nationally and statewide, but they run a tidy ship in Indianapolis.

Bring on 2011.


1 comment:

Wilson46201 said...

somebody named André did OK in Indianapolis too