Monday, March 11, 2013

Ballard '11 Consultant: He's "Planning on" Running for Third Term

Mayor Greg Ballard
Greg Ballard said a few weeks ago that he was "open" to running for a third term as Mayor of Indianapolis in an interview with Indy Politics. If you believe one of his former campaign consultants, it sounds like he's more than just open to the idea.

On Indianapolis This Week, political consultant Lara Beck, who normally represents the Democratic point-of-view, credited Mayor Ballard for his comments during his State of the City address about America breaking its dependency on foreign oil.  She noted that this wasn't something that a mayor generally speaks out on, and that it might signal that Ballard is looking at other offices down the line.

Hearing that comment, the newest addition to the WRTV lineup of political commentators, Jennifer Hallowell, spoke up and talked about how this has been a passionate issue for the Mayor given his background and service overseas as a U.S. Marine.  She also said that Ballard is "planning on" running for a third term in 2015.  Hallowell served as a consultant to the Ballard campaign in 2011.

That is the most definitive signal we've heard from anyone associated with Ballard about his 2015 plans, and it makes sense.  Why wouldn't Ballard run for reelection?  There's no one in the Republican Party that's on the bench waiting to replace him other than maybe Ryan Vaughn.  Jose Evans ran for mayor as a Democrat in 2011, and he's now a Republican.  When 2015 rolls around, it will probably still be too soon for him to be the Republican nominee.  After that, there's really no one.  Ballard gives the Republicans the best chance to hold the office.

Now that we know Ballard's likely plans, it becomes critical for the Democrats to get a likable candidate with substance.  Ms. Lewis? Mr. Hogsett? Mr. Mahern? Mr. Osili?  Someone else?  If Ballard is going to spend the next two years running for reelection, time to belly up to the bar with him.


Paul K. Ogden said...

Why not run for re-election? There is a very logical reason not to go out on top. Ballard defied the odds twice. It's an increasingly Democratic county. The odds would be against Ballard winning a third term. The Democrats would really have to screw up again and this time they're likely to field a stronger candidate.

But on the other hand, so far the Maggie Lewis-lead Council Democrats have played right into Ballard's hands by signing off on his proposals. Campaign Politics 101 is that you make the other side own the unpopular votes. Instead of doing that the Democrats gave the Republicans 8 votes (to match the 8 votes) on the CIB tax increase votes. From a political strategy standpoint, that was not a bright move.

If the Democrats want to win the Mayor's Office they need to be out defining him now...not waiting until the middle of an election campaign when an electorate is going to be much more skeptical of a negative, defininig message. Again, that's Campaign Politics 101.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I also strongly disagree with the assertion there aren't strong Republican leadership that could take over from Ballard. The problem is not that the bench is thin, it's that the strongest bench players won't want to go in a game where the playing field is heavily tilted to the Democrats.