Just who is Chuck Brewer, you might ask? Well, as of last week he was running for the Indianapolis City-County Council in District 23 on the south side, which leads one to wonder how much thought was given by the candidate and our esteemed party leaders before anointing him as the party's mayoral candidate. According to news reports, the Iraqi veteran only moved to Indianapolis three years ago to open up a Potbelly Sandwich shop on Monument Circle and Soupremacy on Market Street just east of the Circle. "I wanted to become my own boss and invest in a company with a strong reputation," Lt. Col. Brewer told Inside Indiana Business in 2011. "So, I invested the Small Business Administration loan that I received as a returning veteran, into making my dream of entrepreneurship come true and creating jobs in my new hometown."
"I love this city, and when I was researching cities to open up my Potbellys, I chose to call Indianapolis home, and now I want to make it a place that even more people want to call home," Brewer told The Star. Brewer reportedly earned master's degrees at Northwestern University and Harvard and formerly worked for Sears before moving to Indianapolis from Chicago. Does someone who has only lived in the city for three years possess the knowledge, experience and ties that justify elevating him to the highest elected position in City-County government?
Brewer is proud of his military service, which is understandable, and boasts of doing tour tours of combat duty in Iraq as a Lt. Col. in the Marine Reserves. Oh, great, another Marine like Ballard. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately twenty percent of all returning combat veterans from the Iraq War suffer from post traumatic stress disorder ("PTSD"), nearly double the reported rate among combat troops who served in Afghanistan. Is it unfair to ask Brewer about his mental health, particularly since he's such an unknown quantity to Indianapolis residents?
So much for the claims of local Republicans that they found a well-heeled businessman to run for mayor who was capable of self-financing his campaign. I'm presuming he's not a multi-millionaire since he required a federally-guaranteed small business loan to open up his small sandwich shop. Chuck may well be an okay guy. I don't know, but I'm not convinced he's qualified to serve as Indianapolis mayor--not by any stretch of the imagination. Being a downtown business owner is enough alone to give anyone pause in supporting him due to the concern that Indianapolis city government already spends far too many public dollars and resources supporting the mile square at the expense of the rest of the city. Republicans are going to have a difficult time convincing voters they should choose him over the veteran statewide officeholder, attorney and former federal prosecutor, Joe Hogsett.
Incidentally, my good friend and lone real Republican member of the Indianapolis City-County Council, Christine Scales, has chosen to seek re-election and bypass the slating process altogether because of the despicable manner she has been treated by her fellow Republicans on the council and by the corrupt and morally bankrupt leaders of the Marion Co. GOP. They drafted Tim Craft, a CB Richard Ellis associate, who didn't even reside in District 3, to move into her district a few months ago simply so he could run against her in the primary. Scales is one of the most thoughtful and hardest working members of the council who not only represents her constituents well but also stands for traditional Republican principles the party's leadership and other Republican council members are clearly lacking. She'll handily defeat Craft in the primary election with or without the Marion Co. GOP's support.
Here's the reaction of Joe Hogsett's campaign manager to the choice of Chuck Brewer:
Close friend of @MayorBallard to take on hand-picked candidate of @KyleCWalker? This should be an interesting primary. #bringonthedebates
— Thomas Cook (@thomascarlcook) January 19, 2015