Tuesday, May 19, 2009

McGoff Enters 5th District Congressional Race

Dr. John McGoff came closer than any other challenger to knocking off the 13-term veteran U.S. Representative in Indiana's Fifth District, Dan Burton, in the 2008 Indiana primary election, capturing 46% of the vote. The former Marion County coroner and emergency room physician is joining a crowded field of Republican candidates who have decided to challenge Burton as he seeks to extend his stay in Congress to 14 terms. Others in the race include Carmel's Brose McVey, who unsuccessfully challenged the late Julia Carson in the 7th District in 2002, former State Rep. Luke Messer of Shelbyville and Indianapolis' State Rep. Mike Murphy. Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi has also formed an exploratory committee, but he is not expected to enter the race if Burton seeks re-election. Under a silly Indiana election law, candidates are listed on the ballot in alphabetical order. That means the Fifth District Republican congressional ballot would like this right now:

Dan Burton
John McGoff
Brose McVey
Luke Messer
Mike Murphy

By virtue of his name recognition, ballot placement and incumbency, Dan Burton has to be a heavy favorite to win re-nomination. I've always thought the alphabetical listing of candidates on the Indiana ballot disproportionately favors people with names beginning near the beginning of the alphabet. Indiana elects a lot of Bauers, Bayhs, Bosmas, Bowens, Carsons and Clarks as a consequence. Other states, such as Illinois, have a draw among the candidates who file their candidacies on the opening day of filing upon the opening of business for the day to determine their ballot placement. That seems more fair to me, particularly since my last name begins with a "W".

Politico has a different take on the 5th District race, seeing Burton as highly vulnerable. I would agree with Politico but for the fact that he faces not one, two or three but four primary challengers. I don't see Burton losing in that crowded of a field. Politico quotes Marion Co. GOP Chairman as labeling Burton as "out of touch" and touts Messer as an early front runner among the challengers. The article doesn't mention that John is a partner at Ice Miller along with Luke Messer. I think rank-and-file Republicans in that district have pretty much figured out what a phony Messer is. If someone other than Burton wins the primary, it won't be Messer. People aren't looking for a former lawmaker turned lobbyist in today's political environment to represent them in Congress. I don't care how much money he raises from his lobbyist friends. Among the challengers thus far, McGoff has the advantage because of his name recognition and residual good will from his 2008 campaign. Hat tip to Frugal Hoosiers.


Paul K. Ogden said...

Tom John, who supports jacking up taxes on Joe and Jill Taxpayer in order to give more money to professional sports teams, is calling someone out of touch?

Gary R. Welsh said...

What do Tom John, Luke Messer and Andre Carson all have in common? They take their orders from Lacy Johnson. If you want what's good for Lacy Johnson, support John, Messer and Carson.

Sir Hailstone said...

I've always felt the elected party officers such as Chairman, Vice-Chair, etc should BUTT OUT of the primary process before any slating. Though in the case of 5th CD there won't be a slating.

So the party leaders should not choose sides until the primary is done.

disclaimer - I have no vote in the race this time - I live across the street from the 5th/7th line on the 7th CD side.

artfuggins said...

I can tell you now what is going to happen in the primary. There will be several opponents for Danny Burton and he will win the primary with 25% to 30% of the vote...