If you answered Melina Kennedy, you'd be correct.
|U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett|
Now four years later, there are more issues to use against Mayor Ballard. Nonetheless, most Democratic council members including Council President Maggie Lewis, inexplicably, don't seem to want to use their majority to drive up the Mayor's negatives, instead choosing to compromise with the Mayor. The lack of a coherent political strategy has resulted in the Democrats taking issues like the Mayor's tax increases, excessive borrowing and reckless spending off the table, issues that could drive many of the increasingly fewer Republicans in the county into the Democratic camp.
Then you have the issue of voter fatigue. I always tell people about the a poll that was done during the 1988 gubernatorial election contest between Lt. Governor John Mutz and Secretary of State Evan Bayh. The pollster asked whether voters were happy with the direction of the state under Republican leadership. 70% said yes. The next question was whether voters wanted a change of direction? 70% said yes. The Republican domination of the Governor's office had effectively cooked Mutz's goose.
Despite an almost complete lack of off-year strategy to define the Mayor, Indianapolis Democrats would have to screw up royally to lose the Indianapolis Mayor's office in 2015. Yet Democrats are working to come up with such a losing strategy, unbelievably inexplicably floundering to find a candidate despite the fact that the party's nominee is likely to be the favorite to win the Mayor's office in 2015.
The two names still out there are Washington Township Frank Short and state representative Ed Delaney. Of the two, Delaney is probably the stronger candidate but his plan to run for re-election and Mayor at the same time is a thoroughly horrible idea. I think former state Democratic chairman Dan Parker would have been a more aggressive candidate, which the Democrats desperately need, but he's taken himself out of the running.
But a better Democratic candidate may be on the horizon. U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett's name has recently resurfaced as a possible candidate despite an earlier announcement in which he ad taken himself out of the race. Hogsett can't partake in partisan politics in his current position and would have to quit his position to run for office. That might explain his reluctance to dip his toe into the political waters. Certainly though one of the big downtown law firms would be more than willing to put Hogsett up in a corner office, paying him a nice salary in the hopes of being rewarded with city legal contracts after the election.
Hogsett would clear the Democratic field. But you heard it here first, I think Hogsett would clear the Republican field also Yes, I think if Hogsett announces, Ballard will opt out of running for a third term. Ballard would be smart not to run against a candidate like Hogsett in an increasingly solid Democratic county. But then again, the adjective "smart" is rarely used to describe anything Greg Ballard has done.