Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Expect Marion County GOP to Soul Search Before 2014

"Where do we go from here?  This isn't where we intended to be."

A line from Madonna's song "You Must Love Me" applies to the Marion County Republican Party as we head into the next election cycle.

Yes, the Marion County GOP has the Mayor's Office, but they don't have much else.  Now, they have two less seats in the Indiana House.  Christina Hale and Karlee Macer made sure that Cindy Noe and Phil Hinkle's old seats would be in Democratic hands.  Even with the new 7th District, Marion County Republicans could not hold Congressman Andre Carson under 60 percent with a good candidate like Carlos May.

On top of all this, Republicans were shut out again for another election cycle in the countywide executive office races.  Debbie Jenkins, Claudia Fuentes, and Frank Lloyd will serve the next years as Surveyor, Treasurer, and Coroner, respectively.

It's not a very good place to be if you're a party chair like Kyle Walker.  While Walker did defend the Mayor's Office from the strong challenge of Melina Kennedy in 2011, his party was unable to hold the City-County Council majority setting up a situation where Greg Ballard's chances for a third term take a hit every time he vetoes a proposal.

It's not really that fun to be a Republican in Marion County right now.  For Democrats, it's a blue oasis in a desert of red.

That desert of red should concern you, too.  The Indiana General Assembly Republicans now need exactly zero Democrats to do business.  69 Republicans will take seats in the Indiana House with 37 Republicans in the Indiana Senate.  Statewide, the landscape is quite different than Marion County.

That's quite easy to see.  I'm interested to see what course the Republicans in Marion County take from here.  The party is certainly weakened but far from gone.


varangianguard said...

Kyle Walker didn't "win" against the Kennedy campaign, so much as the Kennedy campaign "lost". Had the Kennedy campaign been just a little less complacent, Melina Kennedy would have been Mayor today.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I agree with Varan. If Kennedy (and the Democratic Party) would have consistently hit Ballard with the populist type issues that Mahern and the Democrats are now hitting him with, Ballard wouldn't have won in 2011. Instead there were too many issues - the Pacer giveaway, parking meter privatization, corporate welfare nonsense, that Kennedy refused to touch.

Paul K. Ogden said...


Good article. I'm going to write more on this subject. Those not only were winnable seats, they were seats that were drawn to be Republican that were lost in the year after redistricting. That shows a major weakness in the local party.

Anonymous said...

I agree with van...Kennedy lost that race. It was a terrible campaign even worse than Mourdocks. Ballard has gone MIA since he was elected...

Will the Ds put up a qualified candidate to run against Vaughn

Anonymous said...

The Kennedy campaign imploded and became know it all. It is a race that Ballard should never have won. The GOP will not win any elections if they just keep recycling the same old candidates every election. Those candidates that have lost 3, 4, or 5 elections. They need a new line up.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 10:54, I don't buy for a second that Ryan Vaughn will run for Mayor. The next Mayor's race, the D will be heavily favored. Vaughn is not about to make that uphill race.