The results in yesterday's mayoral race are unprecedented even for a popular Democratic in this heavily Democratic city. Bennett captured nearly 70% of the vote. Bennett also became the first Republican mayor to win re-election since the 1920s. Nation was gracious, if not surprised, in defeat.
“Mayor Bennett is very popular,” Nation said. “His policies are very popular. … While he says he’s not a politician, he’s a very good politician. … He’s conducted himself very well. For a Republican in a Democratic town, I think he has a very good formula that’s worked quite well for him, and I congratulate him on it.”This is Nation's first foray into running for office as a candidate, although he's spent his entire adult life helping the Bayhs win many elections. It will also likely be his last. He told reporters after his stunning defeat that he was unlikely to run for office again. “They know I’ve had to deal with some real financial issues,” Bennett said. “And they really appreciate the fact that we communicated with people. We let them know what’s going on. … I think we did a lot of that. That resonates.”
The Bayh magic in Indiana appears to have gone up in smoke. Bayh spent the last day of this campaign at the side of Indianapolis Democratic mayoral candidate Melina Kennedy, who failed in her bid to unseat Greg Ballard, who also won an upset win four years ago in an increasingly Democratic city. The Democrats turned out the voters who failed to show up in large enough numbers to support Bart Peterson four years ago, but enough of them defected to Ballard to leave her a narrow loser. I'm wondering if Democrats will now admit that she ran a horrible campaign despite raising a nearly equal amount of money to finance the most expensive mayoral race in Indiana history.