Monday, November 4, 2013

White Likely to Announce Candidacy for Indiana Secretary of State This Afternoon

Marion County Clerk Beth White
At 1:00 p.m. today at the Statehouse, it appears one of the worst-kept secrets in Indiana politics will be revealed.

Marion County Clerk Beth White is expected to announce that she is running for Secretary of State.  If selected as the nominee at the Indiana Democratic Party State Convention in 2014, she will likely face incumbent Connie Lawson and possibly Libertarian Karl Tatgenhorst in the General Election.

White served in a number of roles and positions within local and state government prior to her election as Marion County Clerk in 2006.  A lawyer by trade, she has served as everything from a Deputy Prosecutor to Director of Constituent Services for Mayor Bart Peterson.  White's full bio is available online on the city's website.

It's no surprise that White is expected to announce she is running for SOS.  She has been making the rounds at various functions across the state for weeks.  At last month's Decatur Township Democratic Club meeting, Indiana Auditor of State candidate Mike Claytor said that White would make a tremendous Secretary of State and indicated strongly that she would run for the office.

The Republican snark machine is ramping up against White all ready, but her best calling card is her record.  After a rough beginning, White has done a spectacular job running secure and fair elections in Marion County along with the non-partisan Election Board.  While this is the most visible job of the Marion County Clerk, it's not the only job.  Among other things, the Clerk is responsible for court filings, election filings, collecting child support, marriage licenses, and probably a lot of other things I'm forgetting.  It's not an easy job at all.  White has modernized and streamlined the office.

Secretary of State
Connie Lawson
The race for Secretary of State should be an interesting one.  While Lawson seems like a nice person, she has not been very visible since she was appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels.  She will be starting at almost zero when it comes to name recognition, and I've been told that Lawson, a former State Senator, is not the strongest campaigner in the world.  She does have the power of incumbency and the advantage of having an electorate that has, with one exception, elected Republicans to statewide office with regularity for the past several years.

Karl Tatgenhorst
Raising money and campaigning are two things that Beth White excels at, and I would expect she will make this a competitive race.

Libertarian Karl Tatgenhorst has also announced he will seek his party's nomination for the race.  In 2010, Libertarian Mike Wherry received 5.9 percent of the vote.

Democrats now need to find a candidate for Indiana Treasurer of State to round out their statewide ticket.

At the Marion County Clerk level, Myla Eldridge is expected to be the lone candidate for the Democratic nomination.  After early speculation, it appears other candidates have decided against running.  That said, it's a long way to May.


Paul K. Ogden said...

I hate to say it, but Beth White has done a good job running the office. I have a few complaints about her votes on the Election Board, but as an administrator she's done a top notch job.

Anonymous said...

I think there is about to be another Democratic candidate for Marion County Clerk.