We're hearing renewed talk that Rep. Jon Elrod will be deferring a re-election bid in HD 97 in favor of a run for Congress in CD 07. Republicans saw how the absence of a credible candidate for mayor of Indianapolis cost them in what could have been a competitive race this year, and Rep. Elrod seeks to capitalize on that in 2008, or use a strong bid in 2008 to parlay him into the seat in 2010. GOP consultants were urging Rep. Elrod to run for the seat earlier this year and he would not commit, but with circumstances seemingly changing and his own legislative seat about as tough a proposition to hold on to as making a challenge for the seat held by U.S. Rep. Julia Carson (D), he seems to be leaning to the congressional contest.
Most people with whom I've discussed the 7th District race agree that Elrod would make an attractive and strong candidate to win this seat for the GOP. While Democrats are trying to spin a message that Carson is seeking re-election, that is simply not going to be the case. Her health has deteriorated so much that a re-election bid is simply out of the question. Democrats are trying to throw off Republicans from seeking a strong candidate like Elrod in hopes a weaker no-name candidate will emerge to challenge the person Carson wants to anoint to her seat, her grandson Andre Carson. The younger Carson is no match for Elrod.
The prospect of HD 97 being an open seat is attracting a lot of interest according to Feigenbaum. "We're hearing that at least three credible Democrats--two with ties to the local business community and one related to a political family with long ties to the district--are taking a close look at running, even if Rep. Elrod seeks re-election," Feigenbaum writes.