Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Finally, Star Covers Senate District 30 Race

Tonight, Republican precinct committeepersons in Senate District 30 will convene at a caucus to select a state senator to fill the vacancy created by Teresa Lubbers' departure last month to become Higher Ed commissioner. Today, the Star ran its first story on the race between four Republican men to succeed her. Mary Beth Schneider observes that Mayor Greg Ballard is backing City-County Councilor and Barnes & Thornburg lobbyist Ryan Vaughn, but she adds that "it's unclear, though, whether that endorsement will have much impact in a race in which the candidates and party leaders in both counties (Hamilton and Marion) say there is no clear favorite."

Both party chairmen, Marion County's Tom John and Hamilton County's Charlie White, told Schneider there is no clear favorite in the race. White will cast a vote as one of the precinct committeepersons in the district. Although he has not publicly-endorsed a candidate, it is widely believed he will back Vaughn, who has the support of the leadership of the Marion County GOP. Party leaders have been prodding committeepersons to back Vaughn for weeks now. White is a statewide candidate for Secretary of State in 2010, and he'll be looking to Marion County for money and support in his Secretary of State bid. White told Schneider, "Everyone wants to get this thing over with."

Here are some of Schneider's comments on the candidates:

Chris Douglas
Douglas would be the first openly gay legislator if elected. He has stressed his business experience as a managing partner of the wealth management firm Hendrickson, C.H. Douglas & Gray LLC, saying that in this recession the state needs more officeholders who understand the economy and fiscal issues.

Scott Schneider
Schneider, who is vice president of sales and marketing for Mister Ice of Indianapolis, emphasized his conservative credentials for supporting limited government and warned the nation was being pulled toward "statism, socialism, whatever you want to call it."

And, he said, this isn't the time "to put yet another lobbyist in the Statehouse."

John Ruckelshaus
Ruckelshaus, who has been executive director of the Indiana Cable Telecommunications Association since January, and Vaughn, an attorney at Barnes & Thornburg, are registered lobbyists.

Ruckelshaus, however, said the issue is experience and stressed his track record as a former legislator and his job under Gov. Mitch Daniels from 2006 until January as deputy commissioner of the state Department of Workforce Development.

Ryan Vaughn
Vaughn said he would resign from Barnes & Thornburg if elected and cited his council track record of pushing for public safety improvements and lower taxes.
Update: Frugal Hoosiers says Chris Douglas has dropped out before tonight's caucus has even begun.


Paul K. Ogden said...

Ryan Vaughn saw no conflict working at B&T while a parade of B&T clients paraded before the committee he chaired, Public Safety. Now he's talking about resiging if he wins the Senate seat. He has more of a conflict working in the Council.

POPA said...

Ryan Vaughn and Charlie White also share membership in the Wabash mafia. Go Wabash!