Friday, January 25, 2013

Treacy To Leave Chairmanship in March

Chairman Ed Treacy
In a not-so-surprising move, Marion County Democratic Party Chair Ed Treacy announced yesterday that he will not be seeking another term as county chairman.

Treacy has capably led the Marion County Democratic Party and has seen the county slowly turn more and more blue under his direction.  Almost every City-County office is now in Democratic hands with the notable exception of the Mayor's Office.

Mayor Bart Peterson was the first Democrat to be elected to the office since the 1960's, and Treacy directed the party when the Mayor was reelected in 2003 after becoming Chair in 2001.  Treacy was replaced by Mike O'Connor in a very brief retirement.  Treacy was not Chairman when Peterson lost reelection and the Dems lost the City-County Council in 2007.  While Democrats could not defeat Greg Ballard in 2011, the party did re-take the City-County Council.

Greater than that, a trip around the City-County Building will now find a decidedly Democratic feel.  Dems control every county office after years of Republican domination.  Things were capped off in 2010 when Terry Curry won election over Mark Massa as Marion County Prosecutor.  Dems also came within a few thousand votes of sending home Scott Schneider in the Senate and added Christina Hale and Karlee Macer in D pickups in Marion County State Representative races.  Since 2004, the Democratic candidate for President has carried Marion County.  In statewide races, Marion County has become a must-win.  Joe Donnelly swept to victory in 2012 partially because of huge margins he carried out of the state's most populous county.

As a journalist and a blogger, I'd be remiss if I didn't briefly discuss a few negatives.  His enemies list is long.  Treacy is decidedly old school in his tactics and his dealings, and some of the things that made him very successful also alienated some talented people in the party.  That is, however, the nature of being a party chair and a party chair of Democrats.  As I've heard Ed say before, it's like "herding cats."

When the final chapter is written, though, it's been a remarkable run for Treacy.  He's been a major player in two major Indiana counties as chair (having previously served as Monroe County Chair).  His record stands for itself as he leaves the Chair position behind.  The Marion County Democratic Party is in an extremely strong position as he leaves.

I would assume there will be a bit of a scramble as the factions of the party try to put up their own chair candidates.  The Indy Star's Jon Murray writes that Joel Miller is a likely choice to emerge as chair, and I would agree with that assessment.  Nonetheless, it's going to be interesting.

On a personal note, while I've had my moments of agreement and disagreement with Chairman Treacy over the years, I want to thank him for his support.  I also want to thank him for the opportunity to serve the party as a Vice Precinct Committeeperson, Precinct Committeeperson, and Ward Chair for a few years.  That taught me a lot about party politics, elections, and much more.  I understand the many criticisms out there, but I also believe that on balance the positives of Chairman Treacy's tenure have FAR exceeded the negatives.

In 2008, Tom John, the then-Republican Chair of the Marion County Republican Party liked Treacy's return to the Chairmanship to him being "exhumed from the political graveyard."  At the time, Republicans held the City-County Council, the Prosecutor's Office, and the Mayor's Office.  As Treacy leaves, Tom John has been retired and the Republicans only have the Mayor's Office in their column.  Does that mean that Ed has presided over a political zombie apocalypse over the GOP?

1 comment:

Traci L said...

It's critical our next Chair be very marketing-smart - needs to understand database marketing, social media and the fifty state strategy, if we want to continue winning in Marion County. Big shoes to fill! Thanks, Mr. Chairman, for herding the cats so well.