|Dr. John McGoff|
I probably would have picked McIntosh as the favorite, and am doing that today. However, the residency issue is a killer. I get the sense voters are tired of people living in another state then coming back to Indiana to vote and run. Dan Coats was fortunate to have ducked the issue. Still McIntosh will beneift from having the backlash for his residency problems split among several candidates and from having the northern Indianapolis area split between McGoff and Brooks.
McGoff has to be considered a solid contender. Having run in the district two previous times (although the district has been altered going into his election), he should have a solid foundation upon which to eek out a plurality victory. The fact he is not a lawyer probably helps him considerably given the legal background of Brooks, McIntosh and Lugar.
Brooks also has a shot. She is helped by being the only woman in the race. She is also helped by her husband, David Brooks, longtime Marion County GOP operative, who has contacts throughout the county. But Susan Brooks' husband is also a major liability. To say David Brooks is not well-liked by many Marion County Republicans is to say the least. He is despised as the local GOP hatchetman who has for years carried out directives from party bosses that have stripped party workers of power and placed it firmly in the hands of those party bosses. Along the way, David Brooks has alienated many a Marion County Republican. I know several Republicans who have told me they would not consider voting for Susan because of her husband David.
I can't count out Wayne Seybold, current Mayor and former Olympian ice skater. Seybold, who has a close resemblance to McGoff, appears to be in a position to dominate the northern part of the district which includes Kokomo, Marion, and Anderson. Seybold has the endorsement of outgoing Congressman Dan Burton who has held the district for years, local state senator Mike Delph and numerous other elected officials from the northern part of the district. Plus Seybold has enlisted the efforts of the most crafty local political media gurus around - Blair Englehart.
If I had to guess right now, I would predict the top four finish as:
I can see any of the top three as winning. While Brooks could finish in the top three, I don't see her winning right now.
I reserve the right to change this prediction before May 8th.