Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Mayoral Marathon: From the Head Scratching Dept...
WISH-TV's Jim Shella is reporting that former City-County Councillor Ron Gibson is running for Mayor of Indianapolis. I hate to beat up on a fellow Democrat, but...HUH?!!!????!??!?!??
I haven't seen the former Councillor consistently since he lost his re-election bid in 2007. He's been laying low. His profile is certainly not anywhere near the higher profile that candidates Melina Kennedy and Brian Williams have been keeping. Even Jose Evans, who is likely to also run, has been issuing news releases while making the rounds sporadically.
Many expected Gibson to file for At-Large City-County Council like his former Council-mate King Ro Conley has announced he will do. Instead, Gibson seems to want to take a long shot at becoming the Democratic nominee for Mayor.
Unfortunately, while Gibson is a nice guy, he has more baggage than the baggage claim at the Col. Weir Cook Terminal on the day before Thanksgiving. Gibson helped pass the tax increases that are blamed for Mayor Bart Peterson's ouster in 2007. He also was involved in some sort of a disagreement with a police officer outside a downtown bar when he was a sitting councillor. The 2006 incident resulted in the indictment of Gibson on three misdemeanor charges. Eventually, the charges were dropped. Still, it's likely that the hangover from that incident and the anti-tax angst of the voters helped send Gibson's re-election bid into the loss column. Gibson also controversially (in Democratic circles) voted against his own caucus and against the Human Rights Ordinance in 2005. He eventually changed his vote on the ordinance's second try through the Council and was key in the passage of the landmark anti-discrimination ordinance.
Both declared candidates for the Indy Mayor's Office on the Democratic side have worked hard to raise cash. Gibson finds himself hundreds of thousands behind Melina Kennedy and Brian Williams. He also finds himself way behind in recruiting supporters who have gotten used to seeing Williams and Kennedy at club meetings and events.
If Gibson is going to make a serious run, he will have to overcome much. As I said, I personally like Gibson, but I question what he thinks he can accomplish by running. Candidates such as Joe Hogsett and Kathy Davis looked at the race and decided they could likely not or did not want to compete with Kennedy or Williams for the office.
Interesting times for the Mayoral Marathon.