Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2011 At-Large Race Critical for Council Control

You know that time at a pool party where there are just a few people in the pool with a whole bunch of others on the outside dipping their toes in? That's exactly what we have right now in the race for the City-County Council At-Large race.

In the Democratic Party pool, four candidates are swimming capably. They include current City-County Council Minority Leader Joanne Sanders, small business owner Zach Adamson, health care plan executive John Barth, and educator Annette Johnson. Adamson, Barth, and Johnson all have community activist and leadership pedigrees as well, and they have all three been extremely visible. Sanders has been doing her job on the City-County Council and getting out to Democratic events when she can. If these four candidates were the Democratic four, the Democrats would be fine.

Likely, there will be more jumping into the deep end without water wings. I've heard a few sitting Councillors may be thinking about trying the At-Large method of getting elected if they seem to have tough runs ahead. Also, there are blasts from the not-so-distant past in the form of previous Councillors that are perhaps ready to throw their hats in the ring.

The Republicans are going to have to choose two candidates to go with incumbents Barbara Malone and Angel Rivera (assuming that Malone and Rivera decide to run again). For his part, Rivera currently has a Facebook page dedicated to election to a full term on the Council. Look for other Republicans to try to jump into their pool, and Tom John doesn't have a really good record of getting his candidates through the primary.

I also would think that Libertarians will find a full slate to run with Ed Coleman leading the L-word ticket. They could do that, or they could put all their money and resources behind Coleman and keeping that seat. We saw what the Libertarians are capable of with the Save the Indianapolis Bars campaign. They have capable leadership.

The stakes are high.

The Council's four At-Large seats each hold the key to claiming the majority of the Council. When the Dems held all four seats, they were in the majority by one vote. The loss of three seats in 2007 put the Dems in a 16-13 minority. Ed Coleman's defection to the Libertarian Party from the Republican Party made it a 15-13-1 Council balance.

If you take out the At-Large seats, the Republicans hold a 13-12 majority in the district seats. That's a little too close for comfort, apparently. It was so close that the Republicans thought about trying to redistrict the Council prior to the results of the 2010 census and solely for the 2011 election season. That purely political proposal seems to have died for the moment.

If you do the math, you see how critical the seats are.

For purposes of this blog, in order to turn the Council back to a Democratic majority again, it's critical the Democrats put good, solid candidates in front of the voters with the ability to express new ideas in order to make a case for dumping Coleman and Republicans Barbara Malone and Angel Rivera. I think that Dems have those candidates in Johnson, Adamson, and Barth. However, something tells me there is much more to come, deals to be done, and more to be written.

For now, as a Democrat, I'll take the four candidates that are in the pool and put them up against the Republicans and Coleman. The current four on the D side have done everything right, so far. They have been active, involved, and extremely professional.

It's going to be a pretty darn interesting pool party...NO SPLASHING!


Paul K. Ogden said...

Really when you're talking these at-large candidates and their abailities as candidates, you'e talking about affecting the vote by maybe 2-3% of the vote. Very few voters go in the voting booth knowing who the at-large poeple are - it's almost a straight party baseline vote.

Unless the Republican wave of 2010 carries over to 2011 (unlikely), I can't see Republicans winning any of the seats. As a "maverick" Republican, Coleman would have probably led the Republican pack in an at-large race, but I doubt that would have been enough to overcome the D base in the county. As a Libertarian he has a much steeper hill to climb. There's something to be said though about not giving up your political soul to curry favor with the two parties.

Actually Coleman could draw from some Republican at-large candidates, not that those at-large candidates had much of a chance of winning at all.

I think it's highly unlikely any Republican will win an at-large seatin 2011.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised that you recommend that the R's push for Coleman, if you listen to him he is off base in his comments and really pissed off the R's. Though it would be good for the D's if they kept him cause no one would vote for the Libertarian, as Ogden said it's usually party line. I would not depend on the Save Indy Bars people, it's a very small group of Libertarians, not big enough to make any real impact outside of Ballard's ear.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Indianapolis Water deal is in trouble with Baker & Daniels partner Nate Feltman jumping ship before the IURC jumps all over the deal as being stupid.

Nate was leading the charge for this deal at the law firm and gave up his partner status to join a home health firm because he knows it is a big sh@& pile with trouble coming around the corner.

Where is Melina???

Anonymous said...

What could will it be to have the majority when we have Ballard Democrats like Nytes and Bateman?????

Had Enough Indy? said...

I'm curious about the Mayoral coattails. Does the Council majority correlate with the party in power on the 25th floor?

You're absolutely correct that the at-large seats determine the majority.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon, are you saying I told Repulicans to vote for Ed? Not sure I said that but I do like Ed though and support him. I'd like to see him get in there again, with three really good, conservative, fiscally-responsible at-large Republicans. I don't think that's going to happen though.