Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Primary Races to Watch Part II

Part II of my look at today’s primary races deals with Marion County offices. To see Part I, click here. There’s no shortage of storylines that will be available when the polls close tonight at 6:00 p.m.

7th Congressional District
On the Democratic side, Congressman Andre Carson is opposed, but two of the candidates are perennial office-seekers and his third opponent is a self-identified stand-up comedian. I’m pretty much thinking Carson has it in the bag. For Republicans, it’s a three way fight with party choice and, frankly, all around good guy, Carlos May, battling perennial also-ran Marvin Scott and Iraq War Veteran Wayne Harmon. May’s biggest challenge should be fighting off Scott, but none of these guys will likely have anything for Carson in the fall in what should be the safest seat for the Dems. May’s “San Francisco liberal” claim is something I will look at later this week should he dust off Scott and Harmon.

Indiana House District 97
As I have written before, I’m not sure why Kris Owens is running for Indiana House against one of the most effective legislators there in the form of Mary Ann Sullivan, but the fact is that he can, and he is. Owens says he is running to better represent the folks in HD 97. I just can’t see anyone being any better than Mary Ann Sullivan. Owens is a nice guy, and I think he would make a great State Rep. Unfortunately, he’s up against one of the best.

Now the County Offices
Marion County Sheriff

The job may not be quite the job it used to be, but that hasn’t stopped four strong candidates from stepping forward to try and take the term-limited Frank Anderson’s position. On the Republican side, the claws have come out and the gloves have dropped as the Marion County Republican Party tries to protect its slated candidate, Dennis Fishburn, from the extremely well-funded and well-known challenger, Bart McAtee. McAtee ran afoul of the party in 2002 when his family, led by former Sheriff Bart McAtee (the father), backed Anderson over Republican Tom Schneider. It’s going to be tough for Tom John to reconcile with McAtee should he prevail over Fishburn. This one, I think, is too close to call though I would lean McAtee.

On the Democratic side, John Layton has done his job and has raised lots of money. He has the endorsement of the party and of Congressman Carson over Mark Brown. Brown claims to have significant support within law enforcement. Layton should prevail.

Point of Clarification:
The above point has been altered. Mark Brown never directly claimed to have significant support in the African-American community as I had initially posted. That was a sentiment many not associated with Mark Brown had expressed to me. I apologize to Mark for my sloppiness in attributing that to him when it should have been attributed to others. I regret the error. As my loyal readers know, I try to get it right. Sometimes though, I don't, and I fall short. I apologize again to Mark Brown or to anyone that might have been misled by my comments. Mark is a great man, a great public servant and a great police officer. Again, my apologies.

Marion County Prosecutor
Mark Massa moves on through the Primary unchallenged. On the Democratic side, Terry Curry is expected to win the nomination, but we will see how much name recognition helps Marion County Assessor Greg Bowes. Bowes has failed to give a good explanation as to why he accepted a large contribution from the owners of a strip club.

Marion County Recorder
No drama on the Democratic side! Julie Voorhies sails though unopposed. She will face one of two Republicans in the fall--party slated candidate Ted Clements or perennial candidate Jocelyn-Tandy T. Adande, who shows up this time as a Republican.

The Marion County Audior and Marion County Clerk races are set. Billie Breaux, the incumbent Democrat, will face Republican Joe Hecko in the fall, and challenger Jana Scott, the Republican nominee, takes on incumbent Beth White, a Democrat.

It gets messy in the townships where so many battle over interior turf. There are several notable races, and I’m sure I’m leaving some of them out. The ones I’m watching are…

Washington Township Trustee (Democratic Primary)
Incumbent Frank Short takes on challenger Dan Flack. Short outraised Flack by a wide margin, but will that translate into votes?

Lawrence Township Constable (Democratic Primary)
Fellow blogger Terry Burns takes on Brad Craig. Burns has been hitting the township hard. He also has the party backing

Center Township Trustee (Democratic Primary)
William Douglas is not running for re-election. Wally Akers and Byron Davenport will battle it out for the highest-profile township office in Marion County.

Decatur Township Trustee (Republican Primary)
Incumbent Darrell McGaha takes on Matthew (Alex) Chabra.

Franklin Township Trustee (Republican Primary)
Incumbent Jerry Young has two challengers. Robert Abbott and Phil Suiters are providing the competition.

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