Friday, October 9, 2009
Layton Dives In: Sheriff's Race Turned On Its Head
Colonel John Layton, the Marion County Sheriff's Department Executive Officer, is now officially a candidate for Marion County Sheriff in 2010. As "Mr. Scoop" Terry Burns reported first on his Indianapolis Times Blog, Layton entered the race late Thursday afternoon.
Layton spoke briefly at last night's Warren Township Democratic Club meeting, his first public appearance in front of rank-and-file Democrats as a filed candidate. In Layton's brief comments, he promised to help elect Democrats in 2010 as well as, with the Democratic candidate for Prosecutor, lead the Marion County ticket.
Longtime party supporters may remember Layton's 1994 unsuccessful but spirited effort against Jack Cottey. He said that 15 years ago, during that campaign, he was a seargeant investigating crimes in the narcotics division of the department. He talked about having to cut his hair to run back then. "I don't think I was ready to run then, but I feel ready to go now," said Layton, drawing applause from the standing room crowd of approximately 50.
Layton had been a rumored candidate until speaking briefly at the Southside Democratic Club on Tuesday evening. At that meeting, Layton hinted that he would be filing his candidacy in the next few days. Layton explained that some Hatch Act issues had to be resolved before he could run and that those issues had only recently been resolved to everyone's satisfaction.
The timing of Layton's entry into the race is very bad luck for Mark Brown, the other candidate for Sheriff on the Democratic side. Brown has been making the rounds for a few months now and has a fundraising event scheduled for Saturday. Unfortunately for the hardworking Brown, Layton now becomes the instant frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.
Brown has 20 years experience in the old IPD and the current IMPD as an officer and administrator. He says he has supervised every area of IMPD. There is no question that Brown has good credentials and would likely make a good Sheriff, but, honestly, he has trouble matching Layton's background and resumé within Sheriff's Department. Besides, given his past run, Layton is a known name and a friendly face Democrats have seen and supported before. Most importantly, it's Layton that has the backing of Sheriff Frank Anderson, who, according to Burns, accompanied Layton as he filed. Anderson remains an extremely popular figure countywide amongst almost all Democrats. His weight carries far. If Anderson's weight isn't enough, beloved former United States Representative Andrew Jacobs, Jr. is Layton's campaign chair. Brown's run just got harder...a lot harder.
Myla Eldridge from the Marion County Election Board was the club's speaker for the evening. She spoke about the preparations for the upcoming November 3 referendum election. Out of over 1,770 positions needed to be filled to run an election, Eldridge reported needing just nine inspectors and about 50 clerks.
Also "Making the Rounds" at the Warren Township Dems meeting were...
Representative John Barnes (running for re-election in Indiana House District 86)
Jeff Bennett (Warren Township Trustee)
Greg Bowes (Marion County Assessor running for Marion County Prosecutor)
Terry Curry (running for Marion County Prosecutor)
Donald Engerer (Cumberland Town Council)
Chris Jackson (running for City-County Council, District 22)
David Orentlicher (running for Marion County Prosecutor)
Mark Reynold (Cumberland Town Council)
Ricardo Rivera (Warren Township Small Claims Court)
Larry Ryan (Center Township Advisory Board)