|Councilor Ed Coleman|
Sandlin won't necessarily be able to simply rely on the Republican base in District 24. As the long-time elected Trustee of Perry Township, Sandlin lost his position due in large part due to a falling out he had with the township fire department. Those wounds are still fresh in Perry Township and could be exploited by Coleman who has strong public safety contacts. Sandlin's chances will be further complicated by his support of the unpopular 50 year parking meter contract with ACS and his backing of Public Safety Director Frank Straub, who is almost universally opposed by police officers.
It is not clear whether the Democrats will field a candidate in the district. If the Democrats don't, Coleman might be able to unite the Democratic vote and Republican who support him or dislike Sandlin, to pull off an election upset.
Looking at the base vote in 2010 in the council districts it appears that as many as 20 districts have Democratic majorities or are races where the Democrats are within striking distance, i.e. districts in which Democrats had more than 40% of the vote in 2010. Five of the 25 appear to be safe seats for Republicans, mostly on the south side of the city. Now Libertarian Ed Coleman appears to have put a district into play that will force the Republicans to at the very least spend substantial money to defend. 2011 is not looking to be a good year for Marion County Republicans.