Wednesday, May 10, 2006

When Republicans Try To Choose Democrats' Candidates

Sen. Allie Cracraft (D-Anderson) did not seek re-election to his state senate seat this year. As one of only 17 seats held by the Democrats, you would think retaining this seat for the Democrats would be a very high priority. That's why it struck AI as very odd that one of the Democratic candidates who ran to replace Cracraft, Steven Graves, was financially backed by big-name Republicans.

The Indiana Legislative Insight reports that All Children Matter PAC contributed over $9,000 to Graves in the Senate District 26 race very late in the race. ACM, which ILI describes as a "controversial entity," is chaired by former Lt. Governor John Mutz (R) and its treasurer is Jim Bopp, who doubles as the state Republican Party's treasurer and as its national committeeman. ACM's primary purpose is to support candidates who back school choice.

Despite the last-minute gift to Graves from Bopp, Democrat Sue Eddington defeated Graves and one other primary opponent. She will face a conservative Republican, Andrew Phipps, in November.

Republicans might be asking why the man it once chose as its candidate for governor and the man in charge of its own bank account are giving so generoursly to a Democratic candidate. For Democrats, it is also troubling that two power brokers in the Republican Party would attempt to choose its candidate for what will no doubt become an important legislative race this year. The ILI thinks it will be "a marquee match-up in a competitive district between two polar opposite philosophies."

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