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Indianapolis City-County Councilmember Andre Carson emerged victorious this morning as the winner of the Democratic Caucus to become the nominee for special election for the 7th Congressional District. He won a field of eight candidates with 50.7 percent of the vote. He had 223 of the 439 votes cast.

The second place finisher, David Orentlicher had 123 votes or 27 percent and he plans to run in the May 6th primary. The rest of the candidates were in double or single digits.

I think the big challenge for Carson will be to unite his party behind him. Getting 50.7 percent of the vote means 49.3 percent of the delegates wanted someone else. Carson’s biggest problem will not be him, but the Democratic establishment which backed him and as some candidates and precinct committeemen griped to me personally the establishment force fed Carson down the throats of the rest of the party. Some of that opposition may try to unite behind a primary challenger.

If Carson can unite his party, he will have won half the battle. His next big challenge, if he wins the May primary, will be to fight voter complacency. There is a sense that because his last name is Carson and the the 7th District is primarily Democratic, that he will automatically coast to victory which could lead to a lower voter turnout and perhaps a result no one would have ever expected.

The special election will be held on March 11. Republicans will slate their candidate tomorrow night at the State Fairgrounds. Libertarians will officially nominate their candidate later this week. The likely nominee will be small businessman and local anti-property tax activist Sean Sheppard.

7:30 p.m. Update – The Libertarians tonight did select Sean Sheppard to be their candidate for the 7th Congressional District.   He will be formally nominated later in the week.

  • Wilson46201

    Wouldn’t Melyssa Donaghy be so much better as the Libertarian nominee?

  • Indy Bruiser

    With Wilson and Lacy Johnson Carson’s biggest supporters, Young Elrod can start looking for a Georgetown apartment any time.

    The southside will not vote for another Carson.

  • http://www.blueindiana.net Vox Populi

    I live in Greg Porter’s district and am ashamed at how Carson’s acolytes muscled him out of the race. They wanted to make sure he won on the first ballot as a symbol of strength, which may have been foolish because as it is, 49.3% of the precinct committeemembers voted against Carson.

    For a while I thought my party was on the ascent. Not a single pro-Carson person I know will admit that if his last name were anything else, he would not have been a serious candidate.

    Bruiser, I think thos of us on the north side will reject Carson as well. Hopefully my fellow Democrats will nominate someone like David Orentlicher in the May primary.

  • Indy4U2C

    It would be a very sad day if The Democrat Machine sends Louis Farrakhan’s personal emissary, Andre Carson, to congress!!!!!!!

  • Wilson46201

    Indy4U2C (aka Jocelyn Tandy) has been spamming the above slanderous comment all over the place this afternoon. That poor child just can’t get over her eternal hate for all things Julia…

  • StatlernWaldorf

    Wilson, do you HAVE a life other than the blogosphere????

  • John Howard

    It truly is WHO you know, not WHAT you know.

    To play such games with the lives and livelihoods of an entire Congressional District is apalling.

  • Wilson46201

    Yup, I was up past midnight printing flyers for André Carson but made it to the Caucus by 8am. There I voted as a precinct committeeperson, took over 700 photos for a website and videotaped André’s victory speech. It’ll be up on YouTube tonight. Yup, more life than the blogosphere, for sure…

    Being 66 & retired is fun!

  • BigRic

    Vox, I don’t necessarily think 49% voted “against” Carson. I’m sure a few voted against him, but I’m guessing he would have won by a larger percentage if it was say Carson and Orentlicher alone.

    And Wilson, you should be the last one to call out someone for “slanderous comments”.

  • Wilson46201

    I am careful – I know what constitutes libel and slander. I constantly use my same name of Wilson46201, unlike the anonymous nobodies who conceal themselves while posting vile and slanderous defamatory remarks.

  • BigRic

    Aren’t you the very one that got called out on this very blog for posting under fake names? Um, yes, you were.

  • http://www.blueindiana.net Vox Populi

    Advance Indiana has the results of a poll that show Carson and Elrod in a dead heat. http://advanceindiana.blogspot.com/2008/01/poll-shows-tight-race-between-carson.html

    The Democrats nominated the least electable candidate and are giving up this seat to the Republicans.

  • Hi five

    “Being 66 & retired is fun!”
    To bad Wilson looks 86, he can’t be having that much fun.

  • Hi five

    “unlike the anonymous nobodies who conceal themselves while posting vile and slanderous defamatory remarks.”

    Again Wilson lies. We know your writing style and key words. You are constantly posting anonymous.

  • anonymous

    And with such a wonderful mouthpiece as Wilson speaking for him, Andre is certain to win (hint to Wilson, that is *sarcasm*) just as he helped Bartie-poo.

  • thundermutt

    Vox, surely you remember that polling used to show Julia in “statistically even” races every time she won the seat. I’d be more concerned that the Democrats put up the least qualified candidate, who may be electable.

  • http://www.blueindiana.net Vox Populi


    You are surely aware that Julia always had a unified party behind her. Andre will not have that privelege.

  • thundermutt

    Surely in this “dark blue” (words of a poster on Advance Indiana) district Democrats will hold their noses and vote for Andre. How experienced does he need to be to vote the way Madame Speaker tells him?

  • hey

    didn’t the south side say they where going with Randle Pollard?

  • Snark

    Oh, well.

    Guess we’d rather “honor” the last Congressional rep rather than win the next contest.

    We Democrats had a good run. Looks like a Republican victory coming up in the Seventh to go along with our loss of the Mayor’s office!

    As vox populi sez: “The Democrats nominated the least electable candidate and are giving up this seat to the Republicans.”

  • Mike Bowman

    “7:30 p.m. Update – The Libertarians tonight did select Sean Sheppard to be their candidate for the 7th Congressional District. He will be formally nominated later in the week.”

    Congrats to Sean Sheppard. I worked with him in 2004 – he is a good and worthy candidate.

  • thundermutt

    Snark, from the “outside politics” view, I think the issue is really that he IS electable and that as a result some Dems feel vulnerable on nepotism/insider issues.

  • Wilson46201

    André Carson’s victory at the Caucus: http://youtube.com/watch?v=0jFfqox1KGE

  • anonymous

    Too bad Wilson. The Libertarians chose Sean Sheppard as their candidate….and after all the dumpster diving you did on Melyssa.

  • Wilson46201

    The Libertarians wisely knew that Melyssa’s resumé was widely and easily available on the Internet. Google is not her friend…

  • Think Again

    I attended the caucus as a voting member, committed to Rep. Orentlicher. He has a respectable showing, and will get much support in May. He might even win.

    The flood of candidates favored Andre, who seems likable enough. He avoided a second ballot by five votes. On a second ballot, I talked to multiple committeemen who would’ve left Andre. They felt an obligation to the legacy for one ballot only.

    It could’ve made an interesting event.

    What puzzles me still, is the mindset of Joanne, Mike and Carolene. They made the calls–I got all of them. They heard me say where my commitment was, and I know all of them. I was as honest as I could be. It was very awkward telling friends you couldn’t be with them. What I wantted to say was: “Get out of this and support David–he’s the only one with a chance to defeat this legacy” And many committeepersons were non-commital but polite.

    Now where in the freaking world do any of them hear in those calls: “We really think you’ll win on a later ballot” ?

    My guess is that Orentlicher would’ve gotten stronger on a second ballot, and the hangers-on would’ve gotten even fewer votes.

    It’s one thing to stand for your principles. It’s quite another to ignor conventional wisdom and lose all ability to count, and selfishly stay in something where you get flat-out embarrassed.

    Carolene was especially aggravating. She brought half of the west side with her, and I was surprised she got any votes.

    The hubris was overwhelming.

  • Indy4U2C

    Wilson: Did you hear Andre make his reference to NOI, stating he was an “Indiana muslim”????

    I would be terrified if Louis Farrakhan has an emissary in congress.

  • Wilson46201

    Indy4U2C is a flatout bigot and slanderer – she knows that André is NOT a member of the NOI. Her misinformation has been debunked repeatedly…

  • Snark

    ‘Abdul sez: “I think the big challenge for Carson will be to unite his party behind him.”

    Absolutely — especially since it ISN’T “his” party!

    As for Indy4U2C and Wilson: There’s no “slander” or “bigotry” in connecting someone with the Nation of Islam. It’s a “legitimate” religion.

    Besides, Andre has done that “connecting” to himself, first by being a member of NOI in his youth and then by welcoming Louis Farrakhan to speak at his grandmother’s funeral last month.

    Indy residents have no idea that Islam isn’t a monolithic religion, but a collection of denominations and sects. Obviously people can move among them. Andre was NOI, and now he attends Nur Allah (affiliated with W.D. Muhammad, son of the founder of NOI). He started out Roman Catholic. Who knows where he’ll end up?

  • Wilson Lies

    Wilson is getting pretty low to start calling names….

    The post by Indy4U2C is factual, not any of Wilson’s allegations. Wilson, why is your candidate fueling the fires of racial hatred?

  • Think Again

    Abdul, please put Snark on Theology Retainer, for the (sadly) oft-needed Wilson Islam rebuttal.

    Islam is a collection of sects and groupings. Some of them are more radical, some less so. NOI is not even the most-radical…there are scarier folks in the Islamic movement.

    We Christians aren’t without our scary folks too. But, at least check, since the Crusades, we haven’t engaged in mass murder in the name of God.

    But, Mother Earth is a young planet…who knows how far Huckabee will go?

    (a joke, friends….)

  • Wilson46201

    This same anti-Muslim crap was spread about Keith Ellison, the Congressman from Minneapolis. The haters are out there now against André Carson – religious bigotry and hate is sadly still alive in Indianapolis. On March 11th, Carson will join Ellison in
    Congress despite the slimers and slanders online…

  • Wilson Lies

    Carson brought Farrakhan to town a week ago, now Wilson is trying to separate…..perhaps “obfuscate” is a better term.

  • Jon Belia

    Morris Dees of The Southern Poverty Law Center tends to disagree with you Mr. Allen. Luri Muhammad’s Nation of Islam Mosque 74 in Indianapolis is targeted by the SPLC as a black separatist hate group.
    Luri Muhammad has publicly stated he and his following are supporting Andre Carson.
    What more needs to be said.
    Yes, the voters will decide.

  • Wilson46201

    Ruth Holladay (the former Religion Editor of the Star) has the truth about André Carson’s faith at:


    We know religious bigotry will be used against André Carson – the haters are riding already!

  • Snark

    Well, Think Again, it’s not exactly true that Christians have been tolerant since the Crusades (the Inquisition, Counter Reformation and, oh heck, the Christian German persecution of the Jews come to mind).

    However, you’re absolutely right about the variance of views among Muslims.

    Islamic sects started in the U.S. in the middle of the last century have undeniable black separatist roots.

  • Jon Belia

    Ruth Holladay didn’t have the information that the SPLC does right now or she would have never written the bs she did.
    Curious to find out exactly what Islamic sect an Orthodox Universal Secular Muslim would belong to.
    BTW, this is not about religion. It’s about black separatist and black supremacist ideology that Andre was taught thru his involvement in the Nation of Islam.

  • Snark

    As I said before: Islamic sects started in the U.S. in the middle of the last century have undeniable black separatist roots.

    Nation of Islam is just the best-known one of many.

    And, yes, the new sects are more about “black power” than religious beliefs.

  • 46208

    Here is one democrat vote for Elrod. He is a hard worker, experienced, and has demonstrated himself to be tolerant and rather moderate. I have no idea what Andre really stands for other than being a Carson.

  • thundermutt

    Mr. Carson seems able to repeat the party line quite well (and probably understands that he must do so to win).

    On the other hand, it would appear that Mr. Elrod knows what it takes for a Republican to beat a “name” Democrat in Indianapolis.

  • Respect

    While I will probably vote for John Elrod because I have known him longer and have great respect for him and his father, I am disheartened by the “slurs” on Andre because of his religious affiliation. I know NOTHING about his local church or his religious beliefs, but as a white person who knows him and has regular contact with him, I can tell you that he has NEVER treated me with anything but respect and kindness. Assuming that he has “hatred” or “bigotry” in his heart because of the church he attends, is not, in my opinion, legitimate. He does not act like a black “separatist” or elitist, but instead seems very humble and kind, and is respectful of all people, black or white. I think both parties chose good candidates and it should be an exciting campaign process.