Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Sheriff for Senate
Marion County Sheriff Frank Anderson is ramping up his campaign to be the next Indiana State Senator from District 31 against powerful Republican Jim Merritt. It's going to be a race to watch between Merritt and Anderson in a district that lies entirely in Marion County.
I've been talking to Democratic sources, and they say the numbers look very good for Anderson considering that he carried the district for election in 2002 and re-election in 2006. If he can bottle that same support for 2010, he should be able to sweep into office.
Anderson could also have coattails in Lawrence Township for its township office ticket of incumbent Russell Brown for Trustee, Constable candidate and fellow blogger Terry Burns, and Small Claims Judge candidate Judie Conley. Anderson's coattails could also help in Warren Township where Garland Graves is running for Judge and incumbents Paul Tuttle and Jeff Bennett are up for Constable and Trustee, respectively. The influence could help pull in votes in the other Marion County races as well.
The coattails are a major reason why Democrats were happy to see the Sheriff jump in the race with both feet. It appears, too, that Anderson isn't going to be content to rest on his laurels. His campaign was out walking the neighborhoods in Lawrence just this past weekend.
Anderson's success should spell doom for Jim Merritt, the longtime Senator and Republican caucus leader. Anderson's entry into the race forces the Republicans to spend money on defending Merritt.
I'm sure that Republicans will try what they can to attack Anderson. He has some perceived negatives that Republicans will try to exploit, but I doubt that it will be enough to take him down that many notches. Things seem to roll off the Sheriff, and he remains a very popular figure in the community.
His compelling personal story and the excellent job he, Col. John Layton, and others have done turning a jail that was on court order for overcrowding eight years ago into a really big success story is a major accomplishment. The food stunk, and the conditions were even worse than anyone could imagine when Anderson took office. Anderson didn't gripe. In fact, he would often say, instead of pointing fingers at previous Sheriffs, that when he raised his hand and took the oath that the problems became his. He solved them, and here we are today.
Anderson should help win elections in 2010, and, in the process, send home one of the Republican Senate leaders.