Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Curry Leads County Office Sweep for Dems

Marion County voters have spoken and despite Mitch Daniels' great influence on the race, there is a change in power at the Prosecutor's Office.

When he is sworn in, Terry Curry will become the first Democrat to serve as Marion County Prosecutor in 16 years. Republican Mark Massa's late attempt to go negative showed only desperation. With Curry in office, finally, the stench of Carl Brizzi's term as Prosecutor will dissipate.

Curry arguably becomes the most powerful Democrat in Indiana. With Republicans dominating nearly every office in the State House, Curry is the man who would have the responsibility of investigating state government. Massa was a hand-picked and well-qualified candidate, but his campaign derailed over the last month before trying to get back on track.

Instead, it was Curry that closed his campaign with a strong finish, but it was Massa that provided the opportunity.

Massa's negative ad on Curry's defense of a sex offender when Curry was a defense attorney turned the stomach of many voters. Massa was expecting the opposite effect when his campaign tried to link Curry's defense attorney record to what he might do as Prosecutor.

Instead, Curry responded with one of the strongest ads of the campaign that drove home the point that, for Curry, the job of Prosecutor is personal. It looks like that message resonated with voters. As someone who was critical of Curry's campaign in the early going, I'm very pleased that it picked up quickly. Looks like the early ground-game focus helped to provide the win.

The Marion County Democratic Party had a good night, overall. While there were some discouraging results at the Indiana House and Senate level (Frank Anderson's and John Barnes' defeats among them), the county ticket swept the day. Congressman Andre Carson easily rebuffed Marvin Scott, and Vop Osili won the county giving Democrats continued ballot position and polling site inspector jobs for four more years.

Looks like the MCDP still has some fight in it, and this just underscores that Marion County is, by-and-large, a Democratic county. In this good Republican year, Marion County still looks pretty blue although there were some changes in the townships.

I'm going to sleep on things. I wouldn't be very honest if I didn't say that I'm extremely disappointed in the national scene. I'm also extremely disappointed that the local candidates here in Decatur Township didn't win and were not even close. Bittersweet thoughts are in my head right now though the idea of Terry Curry in the Prosecutor's Office makes it more sweet.


Indy Student said...

"and Vop Osili won the county giving Democrats continued ballot position and polling site inspector jobs for four more years. "

Could you explain what this means? Does this mean the D candidate is listed first based on who wins the SOS on a county-by-county basis?

Congratulations to Curry. I hope he uses the power of the Prosecutor's office wisely.

Jon E. Easter said...

That's exactly what it means. The Secretary of State's race is critical county-by-county. Joe Pearson won it over Todd Rokita in 2006, so Dems got control of the polling places and ballot position for the first time in several years. They maintained that yesterday.

Anonymous said...

The victory of Curry means that we have officially ended the Brizzi stench in that office and also shows the governor that he could not buy the prosecutor's office in Marion County.

I shall remember Evan Bayh and his lack of a spine.

Jon E. Easter said... will want to see my blog post for tomorrow. I plan to cover the statewide landscape.

Anonymous said...

I'm very upset that Brad Ellsworth was not able to win. He is a great public servant with little pretense. I suspect there is more to the story that I don't know about (yet), but it's leaving me with a bad feeling about my default political party.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I remember when the Ds won the Clerk's office, but the Republicans still had the Inspectors because of the Secretary of State's race. Really the Inspectors should be of the same party as the Clerk. That makes a lot more sense.

Regardless, I also remember the Republicans being thrilled when the D's won the right to be the inspectors. It's a lot of responsibility for little reward.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 3:05, well it was a bad Democratic year period. I think even Evan Bayh might have struggled to win. So it's not a surprise Ellsworth lost. Ellsworth was probably the best the D's could recruit while Coats had horrible flaws as a candidate. Yet Coats still prevailed easily.

While I don't see a way Ellsworth could have won this year, one thing that really hurt was the Bayh strategy of dropping out at the last minute so the insiders could nominate a candidate and avoid a primary. Ellsworth could have really used that would have given him statewide name ID. When are insiders going to learn that primaries are not necessarily a bad thing.

Of course, even with a primary run under his belt, Ellsworth still wasn't going to win...this year. I think he's an impressive candidate and the D's would be smart to keep him around.

Anonymous said...

Jon, our day was not wasted. We removed the stench of the Brizzi/Massa era from the prosecutor's office and we now have someone who is willing to be a watchdog on any misdeeds or corruption in the state government. That is a major step to improving government.