Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Evans for Congress???

Is Evans Running for Congress?
When José Evans switched parties, he tried making it a big deal.

He kept it a secret from Democrats (though most in the know were not surprised). He and the Republican Party he joined invited in the media, wrote a press release, and made themselves available so everyone would know how giddy they were at his defection from the Democrats.
Evans went on Afternoons with Amos and said that essentially he was still a Democrat in most of his views but somehow the Republican Party gave him a seat at the table. He kept saying it over and over again. He then told Amos Brown that he had a meeting with RNC Chair Reince Priebus (who happened to be in town at the time). That begs the question: Why would Reince Priebus care about a district-level City-County Councillor in Indianapolis who defected to the Republican Party?

It got my brain working this weekend, and I did some digging.

Most experts don’t believe that Evans has an interest in running for reelection in 2015. If the maps that currently have been approved to go into effect in 2015 actually do become a reality, he finds himself placed in the same district as Angela Mansfield. Mansfield, a popular Councillor with a reputation for being great with constituent services, would be hard to beat in that district for a Republican, let alone one that used to be a Democrat. So, the question is, what is Evans thinking?

Evans may be thinking just what he said. He wants to have a seat at the table and someone to listen to his views. That said, his views are outside the Republican mainstream and in many ways go against Mayor Ballard’s own agenda on things such as charter schools. His views may be heard, but the Marion County Republican Party is going to do what it wants to do.

That leaves me with one conclusion. José Evans is going to run for Congress in the 7th Congressional District. Frankly, I don’t have anything more than political intuition to back that up, but I think that Priebus’ meeting with him and the big splash launch may hint at the future plans of the Councillor.

According to my research, Evans does not live within the boundaries of the 7th Congressional District. He is a constituent of Susan Brooks. It doesn't matter though. He could live in Fort Wayne. The U.S. Constitution does not prohibit someone from representing a Congressional District they don't live in, and laws that have tried to tie a representative to a district have been struck down as unconstitutional.

If I were Congressman André Carson, I wouldn’t be concerned about a possible Evans candidacy, but it does bear watching. I don’t think that if Evans runs that it changes one thing for Carson. He’s likely going to win, and he’s going to win likely by a wide margin.

At this point, Carson has weathered the storm of three election cycles now. There was 2008 where he fought through a special election and a primary just to earn his seat. In 2010, he was reelected by a wide margin after the Tea Party-infused candidacy of Marvin Scott tried to make Carson’s religion a campaign issue. In 2012, he fought off Carlos May in a campaign that saw Carson work the new territory of his district even though he was unlikely to carry those areas.

Yes, Evans would present a new challenge, but his campaign, hypothetical at this point, would be nothing short of a longshot against a Congressman whose power and influence grow with every election cycle.

Time will tell if the meeting with Priebus meant anything for 2014.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I dont see it happening. for one, it is a long shot and no way that jose could make it close. also, they are close friends or were close friends.

i actually thought jose was one of the most progressive and more importantly grassroots oriented people on the city council, so im still a bit beffudled.