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 DouglasUpdate: Frugal Hoosiers says Chris Douglas has dropped out before tonight's caucus has even begun.
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.
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."
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.
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.