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.