Monday, June 14, 2010

There May Be an Alternative in 5th District for Social Liberals

By Jon E. Easter

Last week, I received an e-mail from a good friend telling me that an independent candidate is thinking about a run in the 5th District against Republican Dan Burton, "Democrat" Tim Crawford, and Libertarian Chard Reid. That person is Kurt Snyder.

(Editor's Note: When you finish with this post, scroll down to read an e-mail interview that Snyder returned to me on Sunday. I sent Crawford an invitation to address 5th District Democrats via my blog right after he won the nomination, but he has yet to respond to my request.)

Snyder says he is testing the waters over the next six weeks for a run at the office. According to the Secretary of State's website, he has until July 15 to collect all the signatures necessary to become an independent candidate for the office. The required number of signatures by Indiana code is equal to two percent of the total votes cast in Indiana's 5th District for Secretary of State in 2008. In the interview below, Snyder says that is approximately 4,000 signatures.

In short, Snyder has a lot to do to even get on the ballot. That said, there is a lot of angst from Democrats aimed at former Republican Tim Crawford. They believe, and rightly so, that he does not accurately represent Democratic views. Many want him to resign from the ballot and allow the appointment of a true Democrat like his vanquished primary opponent Nasser Hanna to the ballot. As each day goes by, that seems more and more unlikely.

A quick Google search tells you a lot about Snyder. Admitted to the Indiana Bar in 1996, he has a degree from the Indiana University School of Law and is a graduate of Wabash College. He has taught at the college level in the Kelley School of Business at IU, and he was Indiana's Director and Counsel of Trial Court Technology. He is the principal owner of Xsimple, as his Congressional campaign website says "is a small marketing and technology consulting firm."

While at the state, Snyder's website says he was responsible for a multi-million dollar budget and "as a key leader and driving force in court technology initiatives, bringing Internet access and email to judges statewide; offering free computer training and online legal research access to all judicial employees; and coordinating the judiciary’s efforts to modernize."

In short, he has a nice resume. The real questions as I see them are:
Can he get the number of signatures in time?

If he can get the number of signatures in time, can an independent candidate make enough headway with all of the inherent disadvantages they have? The Libertarian Party of Indiana has ballot access, and they have just one officeholder, City-County Councillor Ed Coleman. Coleman was elected as a Republican and switched parties.

There are many more questions to answer, but there is a chance here that an independent can at least rise up and pull votes from both sides. I think that's what Snyder intends to do if his e-mail is to be believed. If he can do that, Dan Burton's not the most popular gent. Democrats don't like Tim Crawford, and Libertarians still have shown little umph at the ballot box.

Again, please scroll down to read an EXCLUSIVE (isn't that term overused) interview that we did via e-mail. In the interview, he promises an "entertaining" campaign if he gets on the ballot. I say, let the fun begin!!


Anonymous said...

Hopefully Snyder will announce strong positions supporting HC reform and equal rights/protection for GLBT citizens.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Thanks for this announcement. Speaking from my knowledge and experiences, I doubt very much that Kurt Snyder will do all that is necessary to qualify to get on the ballot to run for Congress this year.

Marycatherine Barton said...

P.S. I think that he is more than capable of qualifying to run as a write-in candidate for Congress in Indiana.