A month before Marion County Republicans hold their slating convention, they still don't have an announced candidate to face Mayor Bart Peterson this fall.
Republican Party Chairman Mike Murphy, who plans to step down at the slating convention, said his party "won't punt like the Democrats did" when they didn't run anyone against U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar in November.
"Anytime the mayor has $3 million in the bank, people are going to be very careful in researching before they run," Murphy said. "I'm not going to deny that it's a challenge, but the mayor has vulnerabilities."
City-County Councilman Isaac Randolph is widely expected to run.
Murphy said others also are considering it, including Eric Dickerson, who lost his challenge to U.S. Rep. Julia Carson in November.
Murphy said he's also approached U.S. Attorney Susan Brooks, who he said "would be a great candidate, but she has a federal job, so she can't do anything political" unless she steps down.
Well, it seems clear to me from this item that the GOP is not in the least bit prepared to slate a candidate it will go to bat for in raising the necessary funds and building the organization it will take to defeat Mayor Peterson. Dickerson would be wise to keep his powder dry until the Carson seat opens up. U.S. Attorney Susan Brooks, a former attorney for Ice Miller where Peterson was also once a partner, is being awfully quiet about her plans if she actually has any serious interest in running for the job. And recall that the Marion Co. GOP couldn't even muster enough votes among precinct committeepersons for Ike Randolph at a special election last year to replace former Sen. Murray Clark. Randolph lost out to Mike Delph, who lives in Hamilton County. The party doesn't seem to be doing anything to give anyone real encouragement to take on Peterson, which I find very sad. I still think Randolph will likely end up as the nominee as I predicted last month, but I don't think he will get anymore support from the party than Greg Jordan got four years ago, which was next to nothing.