Thursday, February 09, 2012

Feeney-Ruiz Leaves Secretary of State's Office To Focus On House Race

A.J. Feeney-Ruiz has resigned his position as deputy chief of staff and spokesman for the Indiana Secretary of State's office to devote his time campaigning for the open District 97 House race that encompasses parts of downtown and the near southside of Indianapolis. State Rep. Mary Ann Sullivan (D) has chosen to take on State Sen. Brent Waltz  (R) in his newly-configured Senate district rather than seek re-election to the seat formerly held by State Rep. Jon Elrod (R). Waltz' old senate district extended only into southern Marion County but has been redrawn to extend much further north into Center Township, including parts of downtown Indianapolis.

Feeney-Ruiz ran unsuccessfully last year for the District 15 city-county council seat, which was won by Vop Osili, the man Charlie White resoundingly defeated in the 2010 secretary of state's race but who is now engaged in a legal battle to claim the office now that White has been forced to step down following his six felony convictions on vote fraud-related charges last week. The Indiana Supreme Court will now decide whether Osili or someone appointed by Gov. Daniels will get to finish White's term. White's chief deputy, Jerry Bonnet, is temporarily serving as secretary of state until the matter is resolved. Feeney-Ruiz on his decision to seek the open House seat:

“When I ran for Council last year, I said it’s time to provide a real voice for all voters new and old living downtown,” Feeney-Ruiz said. “I met thousands of voters who agreed with our campaign’s message of availability, accountability, opportunity for small business owners and entrepreneurs, and advocacy for urban issues facing the county and state. Today we start bringing that message to the voters of House District 97. ”

“This district is my home by my choosing,” Feeney-Ruiz said. “This campaign is about giving all of us who chose Indianapolis a chance to be heard in state government, to provide a real opportunity to work with our mayor, and take our city and state to the next level.”
District 97 has been viewed as a competitive district in the past but the boundaries have changed somewhat due to redistricting. Former Indianapolis City-County Councilor Scott Keller (R) has his eyes set on the neighboring District 100 currently represented by long-time Democratic State Rep. John Day, who is not seeking re-election. Keller believes the newly-configured district is very winnable by a Republican candidate unlike the old district. District 100 lost some of its most Democratic precincts in the Martindale-Brightwood area and has been extended eastward to pick up precincts in Irvington that are more favorable to a Republican candidate.


Paul K. Ogden said...

I have District 97 as having an over 52% Republican baseline.

Gary R. Welsh said...

What are you showing for District 100, Paul?

Paul K. Ogden said...

HD 100 has a 43.2% Republican baseline. Ballard though won the district in 2011 with 52.7% of the vote. The odds are against Keller, but he definitely has a shot.

Vox Populi said...

Keller has a better shot than most Republicans.