I'm not sure how they do it, but it is something they've done before. In 2010, Republicans sunk their heels in and tried to hold on to the Marion County Prosecutor's Office. Governor Mitch Daniels' own general counsel was tapped with the job of keeping the office in the hands of the Republican Party. Mark Massa became the Republican nominee, and Terry Curry prevailed in a crowded field of well-known Democrats finally finishing off Greg Bowes in the 2010 May Primary. Massa started out as the favorite in the General Election campaign, but Curry ended up winning the race with a slow, steady campaign that concentrated on the ground game. Massa's air war turned negative and backfired. It was over.
In 2011, Republicans tried to defend its City-County Council majority as well as the Mayor's Office. We all know what happened. Mayor Ballard won back his office on the 25th floor, but the Democrats took over the Council.
It appears the all eggs in one basket strategy might be back again for the Republicans. This time, they are targeting Marion County Sheriff. The problem is that the man in that office, John Layton, already pulls broad and wide-ranging appeal from both sides of the aisle. Layton has a coalition, and he has been aggressively working to continue to build that coalition as Sheriff.
John Layton was BORN to be Marion County Sheriff. On February 3, he celebrated 40 years with the Department by filing for reelection. As Sheriff, Layton has been excellent in his position and extremely responsive to crises and moments of need. He's not been afraid to investigate within in order to root out corruption, and he has taken action to continue clean up the Marion County Sheriff's Department. His motto of "Ask Any Deputy" stands for itself.
Emmitt Carney seems like a great person, but he doesn't know anything about being Marion County Sheriff. That's why John Layton starts as the frontrunner for reelection and will likely remain there throughout the campaign. I was impressed back a month or so ago when he was on my Indiana Talks Radio Show. Layton talks with a passion for his Department like a guy that's been on the job for 40 years.
I have no reason to doubt he will be there four more.
As he did in 2010, Mark Brown has said he is running for the Democratic nomination for Sheriff although he has yet to file for the office through the close of business yesterday.