Meanwhile, Brewer has taken the nonsensical approach of running for the Ballard third term, offering
Campaign Politics 101 says you solidify your (conservative) Republican base and then reach out for Independents and soft Democrats. Brewer has done none of that. Although Ballard barely won re-election in 2011 against a lackluster Democratic candidate, Brewer thought he could simply promise a Ballard third term and get the same result. In the face of continuing demographic changes in the county, which benefit the Democrats, and in light of Ballard continuing the reckless corporate welfare spending and (higher) taxes policies during his second term, that 50% plus majority Brewer is seeking will never happen.
Brewer is a political neophyte who undoubtedly believes GOP party leaders actually support his election. Before tossing his hat into the ring, Brewer should have talked to other Republican countywide counties who have been used in recent years to assure the establishment wing of the local Republican Party controls the nomination process, even if that means abandoning the candidate shortly after the primary.
Brewer should have been able to count on his campaign manager to put together a strategy that could win the Election. However, instead of picking someone with political skills that was open to a strategy not tied to Ballard, Brewer selected Ballard adviser Jen Hallowell to manage his campaign.
Hallowell consulted Ballard during his tenure, usually receiving a $10,000 monthly payment even during years when Ballard was not on the ballot. Hallowell, who regularly appears on WRTV's Indianapolis This Week and is the wife of Republican Marion County Chairman Kyle Walker, does not appear to have a keen grasp of political strategy, to say the least.
If Brewer's failures were isolated, that would be one thing. But mayoral candidates, not council candidates, drive turnout. Republican turnout is critical to the success of scores of GOP council candidates who are in marginal districts.
When the council map was drawn, Republican operative David Brooks was operating under the assumption he needed a 15-10 GOP advantage due to the four at-large councilors who would undoubtedly be Democrats. While the at-large positions were eliminated by the legislature, the 15 Republican majority council districts that remain were drawn with incredibly close baselines. After the 2014 election (an election similar to a municipal in terms of turnout), only 13 of those original districts remain with Republican majority baselines. Seven more Republican districts have majority baselines of 55% or less, while the Democrats only have one competitive district to defend. If Republicans fail to come to the polls on November 3rd, the Democrats could easily end up with a majority on the council of 16-9 or 17-8.
That Chuck Brewer is going to be soundly defeated is not the disaster. The disaster is that he could take down many Republican council candidates with him in the process. His foolish Ballard third term strategy is going to have severe consequences for the Marion County Republican Party.