Former Secretary of State Sue Anne Gilroy (R) is shown above on the right with St. Vincent's executive director of marketing communications, Anjie Britton, at the St. Vincent Foundation Legacy Fashion Show. The photo was taken by INTake's Ryan Metzger at the event. Gilroy currently serves as executive director of St. Vincent Foundation.
Gilroy lost the 1999 Indianapolis mayoral election to Bart Peterson (D), ending several decades of Republican dominance in Indianapolis city government. Gilroy led Peterson in polls by an 8-10 percentage margin until her campaign advisors convinced her that she needed to run negative attack ads against Peterson. As soon as those ads aired, Gilroy's support in the polls fell, and she never recovered.
I've sometimes wondered how different the Marion Co. Republican Party would be today if Gilroy had ignored the advice of her advisors and stuck with a positive message. The party has been in a continuous, downward spiral since that election loss. There is no doubt in my mind that she would have succeeded in changing the face of the local party considerably if she had won. It would be a party of inclusion instead of the exclusive club of good-ole boys it is today.