At-Large Councillor Pam Hickman was left with few options when the Indiana General Assembly passed Senate Enrolled Act 621 a couple of years ago. The "Ballard Power Grab", as I like to call it, really did a number on the Democrats as it eliminated the four At-Large seats on the Council.
We've already seen the nastiness of the law. Leroy Robinson moved into District 1 specifically to run for the seat and narrowly defeated Councillor Angela Mansfield to win the nomination. Rather than take on Joe Simpson, Council Vice President John Barth declined a run and will finish his time on the Council in January. Kip Tew is locked in a neck-and-neck battle with Colleen Fanning in District 2. Originally elected to an At-Large seat, Zach Adamson took over Brian Mahern's vacant seat when the former Councillor became a Marion County employee and could no longer legally hold a Council seat.
The law set up the battle between Hickman and fellow incumbent Christine Scales in District 3.
Scales is no favorite of the Republican establishment because she has often been a critic of Mayor Greg Ballard's policies, but they seem to be playing nice (they even gave her money) because they know this seat is very important as to what party controls the City-County Council majority. It's a far cry from the Primary Election back in May where Scales was "primaried" by her own party.
Both Hickman and Scales are hard workers and take their jobs seriously on the Council. It's going to come down perhaps to which candidate works the district harder in these last two weeks.
Scales was nearly defeated by Kostas Poulakidas four years ago, but she held on for a slim victory of just 39 votes. The district was redrawn a bit and favors Scales slightly more now, but it's still a very tight district.
This is another district that I believe we'll be waiting a while on Election Night to call.