One factor working against national GOP support is former House Speaker Dennis Hastert's decision to leave his seat now rather than complete his term. The GOP has already had to defend seats in special elections in Ohio and Virginia this year, and the special election for Hastert's seat has already heated up. Citing a local GOP source, Blake writes:
“No one is looking to the national party to drop a lot of money in here to try and win this race,” the source said. “Everybody knows that it’s something we’ll have to do on our own, locally.” The NRCC is taking a wait-and-see approach and is not expecting to get involved in the district, which went 58-42 for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004.Blake notes GOP optimism towards the candidacy of State Rep. Jon Elrod, with or without NRCC support. "State Rep. Jon Elrod is currently the GOP standard-bearer after announcing last month that he would challenge Carson," Blake writes. "The 30-year-old pulled off an upset of an incumbent Democrat in 2006, and Republicans say he has the kind of crossover appeal needed in the congressional district." Blake says that Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi is probably preferable to local Repubicans over Elrod, but he is not likely to run. I'm not so sure there is any strong sentiment out there for a Brizzi candidacy as Blake suggests. He also says Eric Dickerson is not likely to run. Quoting Marion Co. GOP Chairman Tom John, Blake writes:
Marion County Republican Party Chairman Tom John said Elrod has assured him he will run in the special election. He called Elrod a strong campaigner but suggested the special election could test his fundraising ability.
“Obviously, the amount of money you have to raise for a congressional seat … is much different,” John said. “One of Jon’s big challenges will be raising that kind of money in the amount of time that it takes.”
Blake describes the Democratic field to replace Carson as "much broader and more contentious." He names City-County Councilor Andre Carson and Sheriff Frank Anderson as the leading candidates to replace Carson. He notes Andre has former U.S. Rep. Andy Jacobs' backing. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee declined to discuss the 7th District race with Blake.
Hat tip to Mike Bowman for pointing out this article.