Thursday, August 26, 2010

With Sheriff's Race Somewhat Decided, Massa vs. Curry Remains Big Ticket This Election Season

On Friday, I looked at the lower profile races for Marion County offices, and there really is not any reason to believe that a Democratic sweep is in order there. I just can’t see the Republicans overcoming the voter registration gap in a county that’s likely around 55 to 60 percent Democratic -- at least not with the cast of candidates on the GOP side of the ballot.

In one of the higher-profile races, I think you can go ahead and pencil in John Layton as the next Sheriff of Marion County. Dennis Fishburn is a nice fellow, but I’ve been talking to moderate friends and even some Republican officeholders who believe he likely will lose to Layton. There’s not a lot of confidence in Fishburn’s campaign against the more experienced, more qualified, and more equipped Layton.

Layton has a significant army of ground troops he can dispatch across the county to prop up his campaign, and he has had some really good returns in areas where you normally wouldn’t think Democrats might do well.

My advice to Colonel Layton would be to continue beating the path and continue working hard and things should go well.

The other county race is by far the most interesting…the battle for Marion County’s Prosecuting Attorney. Like the Sheriff’s race, there is no incumbent in the fight, but, unlike that race, the Republican candidate is qualified and has strong backing from the GOP. Republican Mark Massa vs. Democrat Terry Curry and the battle for the Prosecutor’s Office remains the county race to watch as we continue to count down to Election Day.

Unlike many of the other races, both candidates appear to have good qualifications and pedigrees. Both have served other Marion County Prosecutors as Deputies. Both have extensive courtroom and litigating experience. Both have the backing, financially and otherwise, of their own political party’s machinery.

For Massa, his close contact with Governor Mitch Daniels and the money it brings with it are beneficial. For Curry, the backing of André Carson, Ed Treacy, and the rest of the Marion County Democratic Party has been instrumental from almost the beginning of his campaign.

Massa’s even up on TV with a slick resumé ad (which I have yet to see other than on YouTube), and it’s clear that the GOP is putting all of its chips on this race and this candidate in Marion County. That should say a lot about the Republicans.

Curry's campaign has had more substance so far with the candidate hitting the Republicans hard on the ethics front. Sure, Massa challenged Carl Brizzi to resign a few months ago, but he has been largely quiet except for the ad. Curry's been pounding the pavement with his volunteer army and hitting the phones with his plan to quell gang activity in Marion County and to restore ethics to an office that has really lost it over the last 16 years.

I think it's too close to call at this point. Massa's got to put some meat out there with the potatoes or else he's going to just be seen as "Mitch's boy" running for Prosecutor. Curry has to continue to fight like he's never fought. As history has shown, it's tough for a Democrat to win this office in Marion County.

In the battle for the Marion County offices, Massa and Curry remains the main event for the November General Election.


Anonymous said...

I don't agree with you here Jon. In my opinon - Massa has a ton of personal baggage, and his personality leaves a lot to be desired. Knowing both men, yes they look about equal on paper. But Terry Curry is beholden to no one, including the State and County Chairs, much less the Governor or Mayor. Terry Curry has expressed he will be a strong independent Prosecutor, leaving the politics behind once in office. This should ring very popular among the voters this fall. They have seen what Ed Treacy calls "The Culture of Corruption" that the Tom Johns led Marion County GOP has offered the citizens of Indianapolis. From the multitude of scandals involving Brizzi, Bales, Page, Plowman, Newman and Durham to the recent disasters in the IMPD to Mr. Dr. Police Chief Safety Officer Frabk Straub, voters will have a hard time finding any reason to pull ANY GOP lever.

Most people do not understand that Governor Daniels has a lot to be concerned about should Curry win the race. The MCPO has jurisdiction over any crimes occurring at the State Capital. Look back to see why Jeff Modisett was so strongly endorsed and funded (some say hand picked) by then Governor Bayh. As Governor, you want your own guy in there. Massa has been an employee of Daniels for years, and clearly will be instructed to disregard any perceived misconduct going on in State Governement, much like Brizzis arrangement presently.

If the voters of Indianapolis want Mitch Daniels to be their next MCPO, and to continue the "Culture of Corruption" then its real simple - vote for Mark Massa.

Curry is a fresh voice with an unequalled resume, beholden to no one.

Anonymous said...

Massa will be another Brizzi. What more do the voters need to know.

Anonymous said...

It's laughable to hear Terry Curry say he is not beholden to anyone. He is a part of the Democrat machine of Ed Treacy, Evan Bayh, Andre Carson, Dan Parker. For Curry to remain competitive in this race, he will need much more money. The local and state party organizations, along with the aforementioned candidates, will be the people footing that bill. He will be another henchman of the Treacy/Carson/Parker unholy trinity.

When it comes to experience, there is no comparison between the two candidates. When Terry Curry was a deputy prosecutor, The Cosby Show was still on prime-time. He's been a criminal defense and civil attorney since then, with little to no actual courtroom experience. Mark Massa has not only been a deputy prosecutor, but also Chief Counsel to Scott Newman. He then served as an Assistant United States Attorney, which is the big-leagues when it comes to criminal prosecution. His time with Governor Daniels only serves to round out his experience as an attorney and public servant. It does not, however, indicate that he is incapable or unwilling to investigate any potential wrong-doing at the state. Actually, quite the contrary. Mark helped police the zero-tolerance ethics policy for Governor Daniels.

When it comes to prosecutors, people should want to hire the most qualified and successful person they can. In this case, that person is clearly Mark Massa.