Sunday, August 21, 2011

Libertarian Councilor Candidate Raises $65,000 in One Weekend; GOP Will Have to Defend Solidly Republican Turf

Libertarian Councilor
Ed Coleman
Big local news came out of the annual Libertarian National Committee meeting held the weekend in Columbus, Ohio. The campaign of Libertarian Councilor Ed Coleman came back $65,000 wealthier, buoyed by a $50,000 contribution from the national party and several smaller contributions.

Coleman, who was elected as a Republican at-large councilor in 2007, switched to the Republican Party because of a disagreement with how the Republican council majority was being run, including the backlash he faced in his own caucus when tried to ask questions about the Capital Improvement Board.  Coleman, who has always expressed libertarian-type views, said he felt more at home in the Libertarian Party.

In what was one of the shrewder political moves I've seen in awhile, Coleman opted to not run for re-election for a at-large position, but rather to concentrate on trying to win in h his southside district, District 24, a which leans heavily Republican.  The district is represented by Jack Sandlin who replaced Mike Speedy after he was elected to the General Assembly.  Sandlin came to his position though with baggage.  Sandlin lost badly to Gary Coons in the 2006 Republican primary after having served for years as Perry Township Trustee.  Animosity in the township, in particular among Perry Township firefighters, doomed Sandlin's re-election.

Coleman's efforts in District 24 have been aided by Marion County Democratic Chairman Ed Treacy who decided not to appoint a Democratic candidate to contest Sandlin's district, a move which could have caused anti-Sandlin vote from going to Coleman.

Republican Councilor
Jack Sandlin
With the $65,000 worth of contributions this weekend, Coleman will undoubtedly outraise Sandlin in District 24.  Sandlin reported just $4,516 cash on hand in his pre-primary April 2011 filing, raising $2,307 during the first 3 1/2 months of the year  With a district only being 1/25th the size of the county, Coleman will be able to concentrate his resources.  Now that the campaign is well-funded, the challenge for Coleman is to employ a well-crafted strategy that uses the money to target District 24 voters.  In that effort, he could take a page from Coons' well-executed 2006 campaign that ousted Sandlin.

Finally, I can't help but note how giddy the Democrats undoubtedly are at Coleman's fundraising success.   Now faced with an opponent funded to the tune of $65,000, the Republican Party will likely have to spend to defend an incumbent councilor who would have been in a safe seat. Given the number of close districts Republicans have to defend, this isn't good news for Republican Marion County Chairman Kyle Walker.

Thanks to Featherstone on Government for tipping me off to the story.

9 comments:

Jon E. Easter said...

Great find. $65,000 is an amazing amount, but I hope that those that criticized Kostas Poulakidas for raising money outside of the city will do the same here.

Nicolas Martin said...

Coleman recently voted with the Republicans to block public comments at committee meetings. It cannot be said often enough that most Libertarian Party honchos are rarely more libertarian than officials in the major parties.

Not a peep about Coleman's perfidy from the LP, of course, since they are interested in power, not principle.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Nicolas, I didn't get that vote either. It was very odd. He's usually voting right though. I don't expect 100% correct votes, even from Ed.

Mike Kole said...

Nicolas, some day you should strap on your big boy pants and run for office yourself. You know- show everyone how it's done, and all.

Bill said...

The money should have gone to Bill Levin.
However, political stratigy does com into play here.

Is Coleman trying to throw a salvo over the bow and scare Kyle Walker away?

Does Coleman really have the resources that can make the best use of that money.

He does not have access to the same lists as the Democrats and Republicans do

It wil be interesting

Paul K. Ogden said...

Bill,

With all due respect to Bill Levin, the dynamics of an at-large position makes it very difficult to win that race. Plus you have $65,000 spread out over an entire county as opposed to 1/25th of a county. If Coleman gets elected his vote is worth the same as Levin's if he's elected.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

I left the LP because of Ed Coleman's vote to move the water company over to Citizen's Gas.

Ed promised to blog any important matters in the council on the HFFT blog. He blogged once or twice and then never again.

Did he think he was too important for us "little people"?

Ed would not tell the people anything about his vote before he made it. When I asked how he planned to vote, he snottily told me I would have to wait until his vote to see.

Ed was less than transparent, plus he broke a major promise he made to me and the readers of the HFFT blog.

As that I am no longer a member of the LP and am now an Independent voter, I will not support Ed's re-election.

However, I am a big fan of Bill Levin (running for at-large seat) and will throw my support toward him.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

I stupidly thought Ed Coleman would act like a Libertarian.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Coons promised the firefighters that he would pursue consolidation, which would mean a raise for them. They worked the polls hard for Coons and against Sandlin.

Coons also seems to have been rewarded by for following through with consolidation with his assignment to head up the City's homeland security efforts.

I don't see anything there that Coleman can emulate.