Sunday, October 12, 2014

Marion County Republican Party Leadership Fails to Fill Candidates in Majority of House Races

The number one job of a county chairman is to recruit candidates for office.  Using that measure, Marion County Republican Chairman Kyle Walker and other GOP organization leaders should receive a failing grade for their performance in the 2014 election cycle.   Of the 15 house districts which are based in Marion County, Republicans are only contesting 7 of them (Districts 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, and 93).  Meanwhile the Democrats recruited candidates in 12 candidates, leaving only Speaker Brian Bosma (District 8), and southside representatives Mike Speedy (District 89) and David Frizzell (District 93) opposed in their re-election bids.
Marion County GOP Chairman
Kyle Walker

While not being able to recruit Republican candidates for heavily Democratic districts is sometimes understandable, a number of unfilled house districts are on the edge of being competitive, yet Republicans failed to field a candidate.  So if the Democratic candidate in those districts makes a major mistake before the election, such as get arrested or embroiled in a scandal, he or she still wins because the Republicans have no candidate to take advantage of the mistake.

Let's look at some of the districts in which Walker and his lieutenants inexeplecably failed to field a candidate. 

House District 86 takes in the western and northern parts of Pike Township before cutting over to take in much of the western side of Washington Township including the Broad Ripple and Meridian-Kessler areas.   Using 2010 baseline numbers, the district was 54.6% Democrat and 45.6% Republican.  In 2012, with heavy turnout due to a presidential election, Democrat Ed Delaney ran ahead of that 2010 baseline winning with 60.1% of the vote.

House District 97 takes in part of the east side of Wayne Township, the southern part of Center Township and dips down deeply into Perry Township.  Historically numbers in that area of the county have been greatly impacted by turnout.  The 2010 baseline numbers in the district actually showed it had a 52.4% Republican majority with the Democrats baseline running at 47.4%.  In 2012, with much larger turnout in the district Democrat Justin Moed won with 58.3% of the vote.

House District 100 includes much of southern Center Township before moving into Warren Township to Irvington.  Of the three districts it is the least Republican, with a GOP baseline of 43.2% in 2010.  In 2012, Democrat Dan Forestal won the district with 61% of the vote.

In looking at these numbers, it is important to note that 2010 was a particularly good Republican year.  In 2012, the pendulum swung back the other way with much higher Democratic turnout because of the presidential election.   So it's understandable that the Democrats in the above districts ran ahead of the 2010 baselines  Still 2014, is more likely to resemble the 2010 baselines and it was essential that Republicans place candidates in those districts yet failed to do so.

It should be noted that the 2012 underperforming Marion County GOP house candidates extended beyond the above districts.  The Republicans had a 2010 baseline of 55.1% in District 87 in Washington Township, and the Democrat challenger Christine Hale defeated the Republican incumbent Cindy Noe by capturing just over 50% of the vote.  In District 92 on the far west side of Marion County, the Republicans went into the election with a 2010 GOP baseline of 55.4%.  Yet the Democratic candidate Karlee Macer won the open seat with 54% of the vote.

Of the three Marion County districts drawn with Republican majorities ranging from 52% to 55% (87, 92 and 97), Republicans lost all three.  Although drawn for Republicans to win a majority (8) of Marion County districts, Marion County Republicans currently only hold 5 of 15 house seats and that's unlikely to change with this election.


Pete Boggs said...

Winning at least begins, with showing up...

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