Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Now That Rev. Harrison is Out of the Race, Who Is the Conservative and Reform Choice for Indianapolis Mayor?

Early this morning, Rev. Charles Harrison sent out a press release saying that he will not be a candidate for Indianapolis Mayor in 2015:
After much consideration, many discussions and hours of prayerful thought, I have decided not to run for Indianapolis Mayor in the 2015 election. This decision was difficult for me and my family, especially given the great outpouring of support that was
 demonstrated in the petitions that contained more than 6,000 signatures. I thank you so much for your support and your trust in me.  
Rev. Charles Harrison
I feel a strong calling to serve all the citizens of Indianapolis. As Mayor, I would have demonstrated this calling through a deep commitment to valuing all lives throughout our community, to improving public safety, and to creating an economic climate that leads to better job opportunities. I strongly encourage the remaining candidates in the race to address these issues directly, with solutions that are positive and forward-thinking.   
At this time, I believe I can best serve our city by continuing my very rewarding work as Senior Pastor at Barnes United Methodist Church and President of the Board of Directors at the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition. Through these positions, I feel I can truly make a difference, without getting involved in the negativity and political pressures that come with elected office.  
I am humbled by the kindness and counsel that have been provided to me as I wrestled with this decision. I shall continue to serve our community with concern and compassion, so that we all can live better lives.  
First, let me say I don't blame Rev. Harrison.  People who have never been a candidate in a competitive race do not know the personal and financial sacrifices involved.  That Rev. Harrison decided against tossing his hat in the ring is a decision I respect.

Some Democrats were terrified of a Rev. Harrison candidacy because they feared he would peel off a large number of African-American voters who make up, by my estimate, 45% of the Democrats' votes for Indianapolis mayor.  But this I think that represents an overly simplified view of the electorate, not to mention a demeaning view of black voters.   If Harrison's candidacy took off, his key constituency would have been disaffected, reform-minded Republicans who are weary of the Ballard agenda which has been filled with 7 1/2 years of tax and fee increases, and the diversion of spending from the city's needs to corporate welfare for Ballard's buddies.

Ballard not only alienated fiscal conservatives during his tenure, he also alienated social conservatives by his dismissive attitude toward religious freedom during the RFRA debate and his agreeing to be Grand Marshal of the Indy Pride parade, an event that included adult-oriented themes.   The Republican nominee Chuck Brewer has inherited Ballard's hostility to conservativism, yet Brewer is too politically na├»ve to know that he needs to shore up his own base before moving to the left to reach out to independents and Democrats.   That's a recipe for a Democratic landslide in November.

While Brewer is promising (threatening?)a Ballard third term, reformers and conservatives don't seem attracted to the campaign of Democrat Joe Hogsett either. While Hogsett has said some favorable things, few people think that, given his background and roots in Establishment Democratic politics, Hogsett will be the one to carry the reform agenda.

The only question left is whether, given a disinterest in the candidacies of Hogsett or Brewer, conservative and reform-minded voters stay away from the polls and sink Republicans in the scores of marginal GOP districts created with the new maps


Anonymous said...

How did Rev. Harrison obtain the "conservative" or "reform" label? Little Joe is the reformer and the form he has in mind is the diversion of tax payer funds to his supporters and contributors instead of to those of former Mayor Ballard. The nominal R being led to the slaughter has not said, in part because he has not been told what to say?

Wilson46201 said...

The obvious answer is for real Republicans to stay at home Election Day to protest! That'll show 'em!

Anonymous said...

Paul, the last paragraph nails for me how many Democrats and Republicans feel, I believe. After seeing Mr. Hogsett's ads, I am beginning to really think that the label "Lying Joe" just might have a valid point. Where was Hogsett to protect the public safety when Hogsett did nothing to stop blatant Ballard corruption and law breaking? And to observe the racial profiling in the most recent Hogsett video does not at all sit well with me. I don't like at all that the video pigeon holes youngsters as it comes across to me. And Brewer is really not an Indianapolis "son" but a transplant who proves he really does not understand or feel this City... I mean, really- who the heck would promise in essence a "Ballard Third Term" when it is easily seen that most all voters despise Mr. Ballard for what he's done to taxpayers and how he helps the super rich. I voted Democrat before but I am staying home and with Brewer headlining the Republican ticket I don't have any inclination to do get out of my living room on election day. No inclination at all.