Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Who's Running For Council, Part Deux

As of Thursday, June 30, ballot vacancies were filled by both parties. The result is that every voter in every City-County Council district will at least have a choice between a minimum of two candidates on Election Day.

The Republicans will have 29 candidates. Democrats have 28 candidates (preferring to stay out of the District 24 race between two incumbents). Libertarians will field 20 candidates. Things will be mighty interesting! So, how do things stack up?

My rating is in parenthesis. This may change as the year progresses, but I'm looking at what I believe to be given the candidates running. My rating system is Safe, Likely, Leans, or Toss-up. Rating looks at how the district has voted in the past, whether the seat has changed hands, or how the area may be changing. I also make allowances for good candidates. An (I) denotes an incumbent.

I tried to be as impartial as I could when I look at things. I believe there is a potential for a great deal of change, but I'm excited that there are so many choices on the ballot for the voters of Indianapolis and Marion County. I tried to gather all of the candidates, and my research was based on scouring press releases, party websites and other sources. Hat tip to Abdul Hakim-Shabazz as well against whom I checked my work from his Indiana Barrister posts.

Without further ado...

At Large Council: (Indy Democrat Rating: Four Seats Lean Democratic)
Democrats: Zach Adamson, John Barth, Pam Hickman, Leroy Robinson
Republicans: Jacqueline Cissel, Michael Kalscheur, Barbara Malone (I), Angel Rivera (I)
Libertarians: Patrick Cutley, Bill Levin, Sherry Meinert, Reid Miller

The At-Large race is usually a referendum on the Mayor, and I can see this turning that way. The At-Larges almost always follow the Mayor's race. That didn't happen in 2007, though. There are a lot of Democrats in Marion County, and that will also have a lot to do with what happens. The Democrats have a great team of candidates, and there really is only one true incumbent on the ballot for the Republicans here in Barbara Malone. While Angel Rivera is on the ballot and on the Council, this is the first time he's faced the voters. Popular Bill Levin could pull some votes away from both sides.

District 1 (Likely Democratic)
Democrat Jose Evans (I)
Republican Susan Blair
Libertarian Michael Bishop

Jose Evans was smart to leave the Mayor's race when he did. It gave him plenty of time to refocus on this race. The Dems are beginning to take strong hold of this former Republican seat.

District 2 (Likely Democratic)
Democrat Angela Mansfield (I)
Republican Anthony Simons
Libertarian Sam Goldstein

Angela Mansfield was initially declared the loser in the 2007 race for this seat, but the last few precincts swung around a close race into her favor. She will not be challenged nearly as much this time.

District 3 (Likely Republican)
Democrat Len Farber
Republican Ryan Vaughn (I)
Libertarian Grant Smith

The results from the past make me think Council President Ryan Vaughn probably doesn't need to sweat this one out, but I don't put it as safe because of the controversy of Vaughn's tenure as President. Len Farber would be an excellent Councillor, and I think he has a chance if he can raise money and attack Vaughn's record. This race is not one to watch just yet, but it could be.

District 4 (Leans Democratic)
Democrat Kostas Poulakidas
Republican Christine Scales (I)
Libertarian Raymond Vanlanot

Kostas Poulakidas wants this seat, and he has been going after it hard. He has raised a ton of money and has been at this over a year. I think the chances are better than half for him to pick up this seat over Christine Scales, the incumbent.

District 5 (Safe Republican)
Democrat Jackie Butler
Republican Virginia Cain (I)
Libertarian Christopher Hodapp

Democrat Jackie Butler was a late addition to the race. Still, this is among the safest of the safe Republican seats.

District 6 (Leans Republican)
Democrat Brett Voorhies
Republican Janice McHenry (I)
Libertarian Kevin Fleming

Another potential for a Democratic pickup here. Democrat Brett Voorhies is a really good candidate that just ran for the Indiana House. With that said, Janice McHenry is, according to many sources, a hard campaigner, a good door knocker, and will fight hard to keep the seat. Libertarians have a great choice as well with Kevin Fleming, a previous candidate for other offices, including Congress.

District 7 (Safe Democratic)
Democrat Maggie Lewis (I)
Republican Sahara Williams
Libertarian Matt Stone

Love for my fellow blogger, Matt Stone of Indy Student, who stepped up and decided to give it a go as a Libertarian. Even he realizes that this is Maggie Lewis' seat to lose, and she's not going to do it. She's an awesome candidate, a great person, and a fine City-County Councillor. She will return to the Council in November.

District 8 (Safe Democratic)
Democrat Monroe Gray (I)
Republican Stu Rhodes

This seat is safe for Monroe Gray, enough said. Read into that what you will.

District 9 (Safe Democratic)
Democrat Joe Simpson
Republican Sally Spiers

In the seat being vacated by Jackie Nytes, Joe Simpson seems safe in keeping this seat for the Democrats.

District 10 (Safe Democratic)
Democrat William “Duke” Oliver (I)
Republican Barbara Holland
Libertarian Joell Palmer

"Duke" Oliver should return to the Council easily over Republican Barbara Holland and perennial candidate Joell Palmer of the Libertarians.

District 11 (Safe Democratic)
Democrat Steve Talley
Republican Mike Healy
Libertarian Tom Mulcahy

In November, former Council President Steve Talley will complete his comeback and find himself back on the Council.

District 12 (Toss up)
Democrat Regina Marsh
Republican Michael McQuillen (I)
Libertarian Shawn Sullivan

District 12 is an extremely interesting piece of real estate. Democrat Sherron Franklin won election by less than 10 votes in 2003. She was tossed off in a landslide in 2007 mostly because Democrats refused to support her. This race is back to being what it was in 2003. McQuillen has all he wants from Regina Marsh, and the presence of Libertarian Shawn Sullivan could very much swing this district for the Democrats. At this point, it's a toss-up and one to watch!

District 13 (Likely Republican)
Democrat Jared Evans
Republican Robert Lutz (I)
Libertarian Jason Sipe

Bob Lutz will likely return to the Council, but newcomer Jared Evans can make the race closer with some good ground game techniques.

District 14 (Likely Republican)
Democrat Maxine King
Republican Marilyn Pfisterer (I)

Councillor Marilyn Pfisterer, whom we send our condolences to on the loss of her husband, Clyde, is likely to return to the Council. Former Small Claims Court Judge Maxine King could make things interesting. This rating could change.

District 15 (Safe Democratic)
Democrat Vop Osili
Republican A.J. Feeney-Ruiz
Libertarian Zach Capehart

Vop Osili is safe in this district, but A.J. Feeney-Ruiz is a good, strong, young Republican candidate with moderate leanings. Too bad he's associated himself with guys like Charlie White. That can't be helpful.

District 16 (Safe Democratic)
Democrat Brian Mahern (I)
Republican Bill Bruton

Brian Mahern won this district away from liberal Republican Scott Keller in one of the biggest landslides on the Council in 2007. There's no reason to think that Bill Bruton will do anything to change that result in 2011.

District 17 (Likely Democratic)
Democrat Mary Moriarty Adams (I)
Republican Gary Whitmore

In a district that should just be a Lean Democrat district, Mary Moriarity Adams keeps winning, and she will do it again in November.

District 18 (Safe Demcoratic)
Democrat Vernon Brown (I)
Republican Mike Heady

Vernon Brown will return to the Council in an easy manner over Mike Heady.

District 19 (Leans Democratic)
Democrat Dane Mahern (I)
Republican Jeff Miller

District 19 always is interesting because it actually should lean towards the Republican side by registration. The independent-minded voters here have elected Dane Mahern in two close races and the short-sighted decision to select Jeff Miller over popular restaurant owner, George Stergiopolous, at Republican slating means that the 19th District will be ably represented by Mahern again for the next four years. Still, this race bears watching.

District 20 (Toss-up)
Democrat Frank Mascari
Republican N. Susie Day (I)

This one could be a tie! It's a Republican/Democrat slugfest between two longtime Beech Grove residents. This is another one to watch.

District 21 (Leans Republican)
Democrat Todd Woodmansee
Republican Benjamin Hunter (I)
Libertarian Josh Featherstone

Todd Woodmansee was named by Ed Treacy to take on Benjamin Hunter in this district, and it's going to be interesting. Hunter has the advantage, but, if Woodmansee works, he has a shot.

District 22 (Safe Republican)
Democrat Douglas White
Republican Jason Holliday
Libertarian Jared Wales

Incumbent Bob Cockrum is retiring after many years of service on the Council. He will be replaced by another Republican in all likelihood. That man is former Decatur Township Assessor Jason Holliday. Wayne Township Advisory Board member Douglas White is his Democratic opponent, and Jared Wales, a previous candidate for office as a Libertarian, finishes out the group running for the 22nd District seat.

District 23 (Safe Republican)
Democrat Scott Coxey
Republican Jeff Cardwell (I)
Libertarian Ken Raquet

Jeff Cardwell will win this race if all holds stable, but it won't be easy. Scott Coxey will give him a good run.

District 24 (Leans Republican)
Republican Jack Sandlin (I)
Libertarian Ed Coleman (I)*

*Coleman is currently on the Council as an At-Large Councillor.

Incumbent vs. incumbent! This one is definitely one to watch. The lack of a Democrat in this race (by design?) will make former Republican Ed Coleman, now a Libertarian, a more than formidable opponent for Jack Sandlin, who has never been elected to the Council by the 24th District voters. Will the straight ticketers put this one over the top for Sandlin? The 24th would normally be a snoozefest, but it's going to be one to watch now.

District 25 (Safe Republican)
Democrat Mario Garza
Republican Aaron Freeman (I)
Libertarian Kevin Vale

Aaron Freeman replaced Lincoln Plowman on the Council, and there's no reason to think that he won't be going back again for his first elected term. Mario Garza stepped up and filled the ballot vacancy, and it's a step forward for Democrats that they will have a choice. Libertarian Kevin Vale holds down the fort for the "L's".

Current Make-up: 15 R, 13 D, 1 L
Predicted Make-up: 17 D, 10 R, 2 Toss-up (as of June 30)

Races to watch: District 4, District 6, District 12, District 19, District 20, District 21, District 24, At-Large

Incumbents not running: Democrat Joanne Sanders (At-Large), Democrat Jackie Nytes (District 9), Democrat Paul Bateman (District 11), Democrat Doris Minton McNeill (District 15), Republican Bob Cockrum (District 22)


FiniFinito said...

Bill Levin is reaching out to nonconventional voters and registering every pothead in Marion County to vote for him. He's gonna be a real wild card come Election Night.

FiniFinito said...

Bill Levin is reaching out to every pothead and non conventional voter in Marion County and registering them to vote for him in Novemeber. Should be a real interesting Election Night!

Anonymous said...

Fin, There is more to Levin than just attarcting the "pot heads" I saw the guy speek not too long ago and he made some good points.
Can you imagine him sitting up there on Monday nights?

He may not win ,but if he gets 5-6% he could change the race big time plus he has a pretty strong grass roots base...

Jon E. Easter said...

The question is, will they come out to vote? He still has to motivate them to get there. Traditional voters will be out, the non-traditional ones are less reliable.

I agree that Levin makes things very interesting though.

Paul K. Ogden said...

The numbers in District 3, held by Vaughn, are a lot closer than what people realize. He'll have plenty of money, but Vaughn is not the type to go door-to-door and shake hands with voters. If Mr. Farber will do that, he's got a shot.

I don't see the D at-larges as being seriously threatened. Levin's presence on the ballot makes it toughter for R's to win. I think he'll draw a lot of R leaning voters away. I'm seeing more and more the libertarian-leaning wing of the R party growing while that wing in the D party seems to be shrinking. Interesting dynamic.

I'm predicing 19-10, but I think Susie Day's district could go D which would make it 20-9. I think it's quite possible that a R mayoral candidate could win by running well ahead of the base and the R at-larges losing. It's not going to happen this election though.

Ben said...

I am thinking that we need to watch the at large races.IF Levin can pull 6% of the vote he can be a game changer. If I was the Republican party I would be worried about him.Paul is correct,he will pull votes from the Rs.The question is can he raise enough money to get his message out to the public