Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ballard vs. Pence in 2016 Primary?

Greg Ballard
If you believe what you read from Abdul-Hakim Shabazz and others, the Indiana Republican Party is in full self-destruct mode right now over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

For years, the GOP may have had the wrong ideas, but they were so good at staying in lockstep with their Governor and their leaders that it has given them historic supermajorities in both Houses of the Indiana General Assembly.

Now, the cracks are showing.  The titular head of the Indiana Republican Party, Mike Pence, is in trouble and the incoming party chief, Jeff Cardwell, is of the Pence ilk and owes Pence everything for his position.

That leaves the flank way in the air for the Republican Party's leadership.  They are ripe for the pickings by a tough talking guy that can talk conservative values but can also be more socially liberal on other issues.

That man could be Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.  Since deciding to pass on reelection, Ballard's standing has grown, and it's unclear what his future plans might be.  While higher public office doesn't seem to suit him, Ballard has a discernible brand that some of the Indiana GOP's power brokers could see as very palatable to the voters in 2016.

Ballard's disliked by the far right of his own party, and there's not any question that he's rubbed some folks the wrong way locally by the lack of transparency on some of the dealings in his office, but right now, he sounds like the most reasonable Republican in the state when it comes to the issues of the day.

I don't think we'll see a Primary fight between Greg Ballard and Mike Pence, but it seems less shocking now than it did a week or so ago.


Paul K. Ogden said...

Ballard is not only too liberal to win statewide as a Republican, he's too liberal to win statewide as a Democrat.

johnnystir said...

That's why I said it's not likely.