Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What Happened to Republican Councilor Angel Rivera?; Could There Be a Republican Primary Backlash Against Latino Candidates?

Councilor Angel Rivera
Readers of this blog know I am no fan of Indianapolis at-large councilor Angel Rivera.  The Republican comes across as nothing more than a cheerleader for whatever corporate welfare scheme is hatched by the Ballard administration.   Hearing him on Abdul's radio program, it is clear that Rivera thinks his job is to figure out which corporation to give our tax dollars to, i.e. that it is the role of government to pick winner and losers in the marketplace.  Rivera is the worst kind of big taxing, big spending establishment Republican.
Having said that, I don't for a second believe the average Republican primary voter knows much about Rivera's liberal record on the council.

Then what is the explanation for Rivera's poor performance in the primary?  Looking at the results with 10 precincts to be counted, even though he is an incumbent, Rivera finished dead last, some 2,600 votes behind Micheal Kalscheur who as far as I know has never run for office and suffers from the affliction of being both a man and having an unusual last name.

JOCELYN-TANDY ADANDE. . . . . . . 8,859 9.98

JACQUELINE CISSELL . . . . . . . 20,159 22.71

MICHAEL KALSCHEUR. . . . . . . . 20,506 23.10

BARBARA MALONE. . . . . . . . . 21,369 24.07

 ANGEL M. RIVERA . . . . . . . . 17,883 20.14

Meanwhile fellow incumbent councilor Barb Malone, who has not even raised any money for her race, is leading the pack.  Factors in her favor:  incumbent, female, "American-sounding" name.

When Indy Student raised the issue of the at-large races, he believed that Rivera was a solid winner due to his incumbency and having some name recognition.  I was more skeptical...Rivera is male, last on the list, and has not endeared himself to fiscal conservatives while in office.  I also pondered another unfortunate possibility - that there could be a negative backlash against a candidate with a Latino name.  Dial back to the 2010 7th Congressional District primary ..could there be anyone who worked any harder than Carlos May?

Unfortunately the results suggest that there may have been a backlash against Rivera as a Latino candidate.  Rivera certainly does not deserve support from conservative Republicans, but that's because of his record, not because of his name. 


Jennifer said...
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Jennifer said...

Michael Kalscheur was elected to the Perry Township Advisory Board a few years back. He won with 2/3 of the vote.

Jennifer said...

Also, Michael Kalscheur ran against Angel in March at the caucus. Michael came in second to Angel.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I was wrong about Kalscheur not holding office. But a Perry Twp Advisory Bd seat is only 1/7 of Perry Township's voters, that's not very much of a political base when you're talking about a county-wide race. Most voters have no idea who their township advisory board candidates are...it's pretty much a baseline race.

Slatings and vacancy caucuses are usually controlled by party bosses. I'm a lot more impressed with Kalscheur result in the primary. Finishing ahead of a female candidate in a list race, not an easy thing to do.

artfuggins said...

Rivera is a lightweight and a puppet for the monied interests of the city. He will lose big.