|Congressman Andre Carson|
He won't take anything for granted. He will wage a strong campaign, but he, again, should be going back to Washington by winning this November. He's earned his way back.
That hasn't stopped the same folks from lining up against him in the primary and the general election.
On the Republican side, three candidates are opposing him. Wayne "Gunny" Harmon leans heavily on his military background as does Cat Ping. Both spent significant time in the military. The third candidate is conservative pundit J.D. Miniear. All three of these candidates have run before. In 2014, in fact, it was Cat Ping that prevailed in the primary and had a stronger-than-normal showing against Carson. In a Presidential election year, it's highly unlikely that Ping or any GOP candidate will knock off Carson.
On the Democratic side, Curtis Godfrey and Pierre Quincy Pullins are back for another bite at the apple. In 2014, Godfrey, Pullins, and Mmjoa Ajabu got only ten percent of the vote combined. Carson claimed 90 percent of the vote, and he'll probably be aiming for that or similar in this primary season.
While some would look at these candidates and ask why challenge a Congressman like Carson? I would credit them all.
They filed the paperwork, and they know the odds. Whatever the purpose they have for running and, in some cases, running again and again and again, they are fulfilling an important role in politics: providing a choice for voters.
It annoys me to no end to look at my ballot and see "no candidate filed" on it. Every officeholder, regardless of party, should have a challenge now and then. When it comes at the ballot box, I think it makes the officeholder more accountable to the people they serve.
I've run for two offices in my life. I ran for Decatur Township Board and for City-County Council. Both times, I entered the race knowing exactly what my chances likely were. Especially when I ran for Council, I still raised money, attended forums, and knocked doors even though I knew that my chances of beating Jason Holliday in a 70-30 district were slim. You know what? I met people at the polling sites that had concerns and questions and things I later passed along to Holliday.
Come 2018, expect to see these same names back on the ballot again, and that's ok. In fact, we should encourage people that want to run to do just that. It's healthy for our democracy. Maybe Congressman Carson would disagree with me, but I think he enjoys the competition.