Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Primary's Over! On to November!

Yesterday's Marion County Primary Election Day held few surprises. It was a good day for many of the slated candidates, but there are some folks that have to be scratching their heads and asking questions right now.

First of all, the Republican vs. Democratic split in ballots. D's had almost 6,800 more ballots cast in the Primary than the Republicans did. There was a contested Mayor's race, and there were other contested races. That said, there were some contested races on the Republican side as well. It raises another question. Did the R's stay home? If they did, will they be back out in November?

Related to that, Greg Ballard's vote total barely exceeded Melina Kennedy's vote total. Presumably, the votes that went to Ron Gibson and Sam Carson will split her way in November. That's not to say 100 percent of them will, but if half of those votes did, she would have outdistanced Ballard by a wide margin. Again, did people skip the Ballard circle because he was unopposed, and will they vote for him in November?

The Republican slate of At-Large City-County Councillors prevailed. On the D side, incumbent Joanne Sanders led Leroy Robinson, John Barth, and Zach Adamson. On the R side, incumbent Barbara Malone led the ticket, but her fellow incumbent Angel Rivera finished fourth. He was many votes ahead of Jocelyn-Tandy T. Adande, but is this something that's significant? Apparently, Rivera has to get his name recognition up.

This sure sets up a contrast between the parties. On one hand, you have Greg Ballard who has governed pretty much in complete contrast to how he campaigned, and, on the other, you have Melina Kennedy, whose energy, enthusiasm, and intelligence will quickly shine through.

I'm interested to see how long this is a race. Kennedy is used to long, hard races. She's a runner, and this will become part of her narrative...I'm sure. She's ready to govern and to lead this city, and I only think it's a matter of time before people across Indianapolis pick up on the message.

Last night, at the primary celebration, in a room full of supportive Democrats, Melina Kennedy was at ease and at home. She delivered what I thought to be the best speech she's ever delivered. She talked about the need for change in this city with clarity and conviction. She addressed guns, education, crime, drugs, jobs, and a variety of other topics.

Mayor Ballard has run away from his grassroots support that initially put him on the ballot and in the office on the 25th Floor. If you talk to them, they don't recognize the Mayor anymore. He's certainly not the man that ran for the office four years ago, and those early Ballard adopters will tell you that they aren't going to go back and vote for him again.

Enough for the appetizer. The main course is coming now, so here we go folks!

"Friends, being Mayor is so much more than a job to me, being Mayor is a commitment. So tonight I offer you my commitment-as a mother there is nothing I wouldn't do to protect my family, and as a Mayor there is nothing I wouldn't do to protect yours."
--Melina Kennedy

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