UPDATE: Here's the reaction of Marion Co. GOP Chairman Kyle Walker to Sanders' announcement:
The Democrats' top vote-getter abandoning ship adds fuel to the rumors that their caucus is in disarray. This opens up yet another at-large seat for the Republicans to gain in the November election.UPDATE II: That didn't take long. Marion Co. Democratic Party Chairman Ed Treacy has appointed Pam Hickman to take Sanders' place on the ballot as an at large council candidate. Here's the press release:
As you know, Minority Leader Joanne Sanders announced yesterday that she is withdrawing from the 2011 City-County Council race, thus leaving a vacancy on our ballot. I am pleased to report that we have been able to fill this slot promptly.
Today, after consultation with various community and Party leaders, it is my pleasure to announce that Pam Hickman will fill the Council At-Large vacancy on the 2011 Municipal Election ballot. She joins Zach Adamson, John Barth, and Leroy Robinson as part of the Democratic team.
Pam is a small business owner who has spent her entire life in the city of Indianapolis. A born-and-raised southsider, she attended Holy Name elementary school in Beech Grove, Sacred Heart High School and later went on to receive her undergraduate degree in education from Ball State University.
Her leadership in business has been balanced with an extraordinary commitment to public service. She serves on a number of boards for St. Francis Hospital and is active with a number of organizations including the Kiwanis Club, Salvation Army, and the Forest Manor Multi-Service Center. She is also a past president of the American Heart Association of Indiana and an active member of the National Association of Women Business Owners.
From her time growing up in the Garfield Park area, throughout her long and successful career, and in her ongoing commitment to public service, Pam has a shown a deep devotion to this city.
She is an excellent candidate, and she will be an outstanding councillor for the people of Indianapolis. I look forward to her leadership as we make this city safer and stronger.