Monday, September 28, 2009

Why Hogsett Exited 2011 Mayoral Race Before It Began

While Indianapolis attorney and former Indiana Secretary of State Joe Hogsett took himself seriously as a Democratic candidate for the 2011 Indianapolis mayor's race, few people within his own party felt the same way. Some wondered why he would think the party would nominate a three-time loser to one of the most coveted political offices in the state. Others wondered why the partners at his law firm would allow his candidacy to potentially wreck the firm's much-coveted legal work for the Capital Improvement Board, a gig worth about a million a year thanks to a decision early in the Ballard administration to continue using the firm despite the considerable financial support it provided to Bart Peterson's re-election campaign in 2007. Not even his former boss, Sen. Evan Bayh, was expected to lend any support to a Hogsett mayoral campaign. And jokes were already circulating about whether he would take a new wife, something that has coincided with some of his prior electoral bids. Local Democratic blogger, Terry Burns of Indianapolis Times, broke news of Hogsett's early departure from the race today. To date, only the campaign of Democratic candidate Melina Kennedy, a former deputy mayor to Bart Peterson and unsuccessful candidate for Marion Co. Prosecutor, appears to be getting serious traction in this race.

11 comments:

iPOPA said...

It's absolutely not true that nobody in the party supported Joe. In my conversations with Democratic activists, in fact, support was almost evenly-split. Yes, everybody was aware Joe had as a liability losing three races, but two of those were "sacrificial lamb" contests when the party had no candidate and he stepped in the breach (2000 AG) or no real chance to win (Congress, 1994).

By the way, I know a two-time loser, and a lot of your Republican colleagues want to call him Governor or Mr. President. His name is Mike Pence (He lost to Phil Sharp in 1988 and 1990).

Advance Indiana said...

There's a big difference with Mike Pence. He was running for the same office against the same incumbent congressman. Joe bounced around as a candidate from office to office. He certainly didn't consider himself a sacrificial lamb in any of those races, particularly the race for Congress against David McIntosh. Hogsett had far greater name recognition than the unknown McIntosh going into that race.

iPOPA said...

OH! I see. As long as you run for the same office and get beaten repeatedly, you're okay? Phew. I'm sure Ron Paul is breathing a sigh of relief. Sorry, but the only difference between Joe and Pence is that Pence won the last won. If Joe had been elected AG, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

Advance Indiana said...

My point is that Pence was focused on running for Congress. Joe was grasping for any office that came along just to be a candidate. There's a big difference.

Jon E. Easter said...

Not true at all AI. Nice hatchet job.

Advance Indiana said...

If I was looking to do a hatchet job on Joe, there are far worse things I could have written about him.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I think I would cut Hogsett some slack. I seem to remember his running for Secretary of State against Bill Hudnut. Hudnut had a 30 point lead at one time. Hudnut was so confident that his people were measuring for new drapes in the SOS office. Hogsett proceeded to pick Hudnut apart and wini the race.

Congressional races are always an uphill battle for incumbents and the race for Governor for a Democrat is too. The guy stuck his neck out on the line when others in his party weren't interested in doing so.

Hogsett would have been a strong candidate. Kennedy will be too. In fact, it would be hard to find a Democrat who couldn't beat Ballard. Outside of Frank Anderson, who has some real ethical problems that might come out during a campaign, I can't think of a Democrat would couldn't beat Ballard, if he is the nominee.

Advance Indiana said...

Paul, Hogsett ran a rumor-filled campaign against Hudnut. What I found to be the most appalling, low-handed thing the Hogsett campaign pulled off against Hudnut was the disclosure that he visited a fortune teller. This landed a big story in the Star. How do you think the newspaper found out about this? Well, it just turned out that the fortune teller's brother was a close campaign associate of Hogsett's. Was that a coincidence? I found it appalling that the fortune teller did not maintain the confidentiality of her clients, but I guess there is no law requiring her to do so. The newspaper made a big issue out of the fact that he would pay to visit a fortune teller because Hudnut had been a minister. There were far worse rumors being spread about Hudnut by the Hogsett campaign that didn't make it into the newspaper. I can't say whether they were true or not, but they were of the sort that were very damaging to him in the rural areas of the state.

Advance Indiana said...

Recall that Dan Coats didn't pull any punches when he ran against Hogsett two years after Hogsett beat Hudnut. "My opponent has no wife, he has no family" Coats repeated over and over in one of his commercials.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Gary, I don't remember the fortune teller story, but I'm sure your memory is better than mine. I certainly remember the Hudnut rumors. In fairness to Hogsett, there were as many Republicans spreading those Hudnut rumors as Democrats. I don't know whether they were true or not, but there was a lot of smoke there for there not to have been a fire.

What absolutely killed Hudnut though was that he had tripled the county option income tax during his term. Hogsett ripped Hudnut apart on the tax issue. I really doubt the election turned on the other stuff. When Hogsett started attacking Hudnut as a big-spender, Hudnut sank like a rock in the polls.

FYI, when I said congressional rraces are an uphill battle for incumbents, obviously I meant "challengers."

indyernie said...

The same rumors that you are tap dancing around were also suggested about Andy Jacobs. They didn't stop him from winning.
I know that a statewide race is different than a congressional district race however... I think if the people cared the issue would have become a main street topic, it didn't.