The plot thickens in the political soap opera surrounding the race to succeed U.S. Rep. Julia Carson (D). After disclosing over the weekend that she was suffering from terminal lung cancer, her office announced officially what most had expected anyway: that she would not be a candidate for re-election. What we picked up Monday in the already bizarre CD 07 political kabuki dance is that Marion County Sheriff Frank Anderson (D), who is likely to see his powers emasculated under the new City of Indianapolis administration, may be the beneficiary of a frantic behind-the-scenes effort among Democrats to find a consensus candidate whose candidacy would be acceptable to all factions of the local party and forestall a party civil war . . .despite the fact that he doesn't actually live in the district, and would have to suffer through a 50% pay cut if he were to run and win. New Indianapolis City-County Councilmember Andre Carson (D), his grandmother's likely preference for a successor, is seen as not likely to want to make a bid for the seat if he has to fight for it and further splinter the party. Complicating things: a potential special primary caucus and election should Rep. Carson decide to step down or is unable to fill out her term . . . and the reprecincting that should be completed soon, changing some of the players in such a caucus (and potentially in a special election, as well).
With all the attention on the Democratic side, few are paying attention to what is happening on the Republican side. The only serious, announced candidate is State Rep. Jon Elrod. There have been rumblings that Bruce Henry, the District 1 loser in this November's City-County Council race, might enter the race. I'm not sure how a losing council race positions one to run for Congress. Last year's GOP candidate, Eric Dickerson, is sending out no signals of interest in making the race. Some GOP observers believe the Republicans should nominate an African-American to run for the seat if the party wants to seriously contest the race without hurting the party's county-wide candidates next year.