|Reverend Charles Harrison|
He has yet to reveal anything official, but he sure sounds more and more like a candidate. If he does enter, it will make the 2015 Mayoral Election a bit more interesting.
Democrat Joe Hogsett will still be the frontrunner, and he should be. Hogsett has already run circles around Republican candidate Chuck Brewer by attending events all across Marion County. Joe is always on the go.
Besides that, Hogsett has been very aggressive announcing three major policy planks. Two thirds of his policy announcements deal with crime reduction and the other one was about transparency in government.
Hogsett also has recently released a third television advertisement centering on his plan to help reduce crime in Indianapolis. He's running the perfect campaign and is taking absolutely nothing for granted. Joe is well-liked by almost all Democrats I've talked to, and he would make a great Mayor in every way.
We still don't know Chuck Brewer. He still remains largely a mystery to even the most hardcore politicos. He's active on social media and is making the rounds. It also seems that his campaign is using interns to represent the candidate at events and community meetings. That's great, but it's also a sign that people aren't getting to know him that well. He has to work harder than Hogsett, and I just haven't seen that yet. His most innovative idea: nominating a Republican and a Democrat to the IPS School Board. Uh...yeah.
That brings us back to our potential third candidate, Charles Harrison.
With the door left wide open by a lack of a Libertarian candidate, Reverend Harrison continues to be bolstered by what I believe to be unrealistic expectations and held down by questions.
I have no doubt that Harrison has solid support from a hardcore group of people that love and follow him, but I don't know if that support expands that far outside that group. Maybe it will...maybe it won't.
Harrison is well-admired by many including me. Matt Tully is right. His entry into the campaign will change the discussion, but will anyone be able to hear what he has to say? Harrison is GREAT at earning earned media, but he's going to need to be able to craft his own message, too.
Despite slick efforts, Facebook campaign ads, and other attempts, his "Run Rev. Run" campaign page has not gained likes over the past week. Plus, there are still the questions surrounding who exactly set up the Draft Harrison Facebook page and who is behind the last-minute effort to allegedly hire a right-leaning group to get enough petition signatures to get him on the ballot.
I have reached out to Harrison and offered him an opportunity to explain the effort in an unedited fashion here on this blog. Repeated efforts on social media are met with silence, empty answers, or tweets like this one in response:
@matthewltully I am blunt, I will make the demand when the people reveal themselves who made Chuck Brewer & Joe Hogsett their party choices.— RevCharles Harrison (@charlesharriso5) July 7, 2015
This answer is simple. It was the Primary Election voters that voted both Brewer and Hogsett into the nomination. Joe Hogsett won almost 90 percent of the vote, and Brewer got over 75 percent in a five-way battle. Neither Brewer nor Hogsett faced opposition in slating.
There's no secret behind these two. The only secret is in Harrison's camp. It's just hard to believe some group just came up with close to 3,200 signatures without getting at least Harrison's consent. Something just doesn't feel right about that. It seems very suspicious.
This is pretty much going down like I predicted though. On Facebook a few days ago, I predicted that the Draft Harrison campaign would get the signatures and portray it like it was a shock and a surprise. Then, at the last moment, the Reverend will swoop in and agree to run...as if he has been called to action.
One way or another, in the race to replace Greg Ballard, it's still Joe Hogsett out in front.