Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What is Going to Happen in Indiana's Fifth Congressional District?

In a week and a half, I will be making my traditional pre-election picks on the show Civil Discourse Now.  I must say right now I have no idea who I will pick to win the Congressional Fifth District.  There are four candidates who seem to have the best shot...former Congressman David McIntosh, former Marion County Coroner Dr. John McGoff, former U.S. Attorney Susan Brooks, and Wayne Seybold, current Mayor of Marion.  Other candidates include Jack Lugar, Bill Salin, Jason Anderson and Matthew Mount.
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:

1.  McIntosh
2.  McGoff
3.  Seybold
4.  Brooks

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.


Bill said...

Who will up McIntosh votes ,when he is exposed fully?

IM sure there will be lots of idiots that will still vote for him,fully knowing that the seat could end up a D.

Im betting the votes will go to McGoff or Seybold,more likely Seybold since he is the most conservative of the four.

The man just plain out and out lied to Jim Shella on TV

marksmall2001 said...

As you know, I probably will vote (as I have since 1974) in the Democratic Party primary. That consideration aside, I think that Suan Brooks has the edge for several reasons: 1) She did a credible job as US Attorney, from what I hear from peers who practice in Fed Court. Maybe I am getting a skewed feed from them, but my experience with her people, though limited, was positive. 2) There is a lot of money behind her candidacy. She has the bucks for the finals days of the campaign. and 3) Her gender: I am not trying to be a sexist---but women feel--what is the popular term? "Marginalized"? "Disenfranchised"? Whatever. She presents a positive perspective as a female Reobublican. I understand the negatives her husband might bring to the campaign, but overall, I give her the edge. I say she wins by a point---or less, but a win is a win.

Anonymous said...


What about the real conservative in the race? The Vietnam Veteran who became a businessman and believes that Economy & Jobs are the Priority. Supported by the Tea Party and few friends -- his campaign is grassroots event. His name is William "Bill" Salin and don't count him out.