Can anyone stop Peterson from winning again next year?
Probably not. There's likely just one way Peterson doesn't win a third term: That's if, despite his stated plans to run again, he decides not to.
Tully's take may have been true as recently as about six months ago, but the whole dynamic of the 2007 mayoral race has changed over the last several months. The explosion in violent crimes over the past year has many people concerned about public safety. The budget mess and rising taxes have created unease among voters and are providing extra incentives for people to move out of Marion County to better managed and safer suburban counties. And then there's that growing cloud of scandal surrounding several Marion Co. Democrats. If Tully doesn't think Peterson is vulnerable, he is living in another world.
One particular issue Tully raised about Randolph is one that is heard a lot, and it's not good news for Randolph. Tully writes:
Some, for instance, ask whether the 42-year-old Pike Township resident works as hard at policy and politicking as publicity. Others recall he stumbled badly last year in a bid to fill a vacant state Senate seat.
The publicity hound label has been firmly attached to Randolph, and he might have a difficult time shaking it. The daily replays on WIBC's Garrison have probably done him more harm than good. The image doesn't play well for him in Marion Co. Republican circles as became quite evident in his bid for Murray Clark's senate seat last year.
As an aside, I found it fascinating how quickly Democratic members of the city-county council, plus one oddity--Republican Jim Bradford, rallied to the defense of Councilor Ron Gibson, who has been charged by a Democratic special prosecutor from Monroe County with battery on a police officer, disorderly conduct and public intoxication. Many of these same folks thought it perfectly okay for Rep. Carson to try and convict a Republican African-American candidate, Eric Dickerson, for a 15-year-old, unproven charge even the alleged victim denies he's guilty of committing. And what's going on with Bradford? He appeared at Gibson's rally yesterday with a full beard and was sloppily attired--the complete opposite of how he typically looks and dresses.