So what gives? Will she run one more time? Fundraising reports for the last two quarters show anemic fundraising efforts on her part which would seem to indicate that she is not taking the idea of running too seriously. Even if she didn't intend to run shouldn't she, as the incumbent in the seat, take advantage of the fundraising environment in DC to build up a nest egg to donate to her designated successor? Or is this the issue no one wants to discuss that is causing the deafening silence on who is running next year?
Carson's supporters in the district have been under fire from all sides this year. There is a rather noticeable fault line between the supporters of Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson and Carson's backers. The blogs have been detailing splits between Peterson and Indianapolis City-County Council President Monroe Grey, a key Carson ally rumored to have his eye on her seat should she announce her retirement. Julia's grandson Andre Carson has also been mentioned as a possible successor, though he has not held elected office before.
So our most speculated upon possible candidates should Carson retire include an embattled CCC member and a political neophyte with family ties. A resurgent GOP operation in Marion County is gathering steam on the back of the property tax reform movement and have had surprising results at the ballot box against Carson the last couple of election cycles. A strong GOP candidate in 08 could conceivably create a problem for the Dem nominee in what has been a Democratic stronghold for 35 years dating back to when Andy Jacobs, Jr. first captured the seat.
So where do we go from here? We have got to find a potential candidate that could run a strong campaign against an unknown challenger. It's time to begin the process of weeding out who will run for the nomination. A candidate must begin fundraising in earnest in the near future if they expect to win in November 08. These issues need to be settled ASAP and Ms. Carson should do her constituents a final act of service by providing us with a definitive answer about her plans for next year. We need to know the district is going to remain safely in Democratic hands.
Clearly, Rep. Carson is not up to another campaign, let alone the day-to-day demanding requirements which accompany being one of 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Blue Indiana should just state the obvious and tell Carson to step aside. I suspect she will wait until the last possible moment to announce her intentions to give her hand-picked choice a leg up on other potential challengers. I originally thought she would resign the seat so that a special election could take place contemporaneously with this year's municipal election. This would drive the African-American turnout in support of a replacement candidate many speculate will be another African-American, thereby helping the re-election of Mayor Peterson. It doesn't look like that's going to happen now.