John Gregg Joins the Fun: Campaign Video Week

Today, John Gregg decided he should join the fun and put out a campaign video too.  We’re hearing the email his campaign sent out was sent to a list obtained from the Indiana State Democratic Party.  This makes sense since they have made no secret that John Gregg is their man.  If it were us, we would maybe be a little more careful.  Surely, the IN Dems haven’t forgotten the 2008 Jill Long Thompson debacle.

Back to the video.  Besides reminding us all what cities are in the state of Indiana, Gregg makes sure to put in a few jabs though we’re not sure he lands the punch.  Gregg says,  “We need a leader who cares more about the next generation than the next election” and has graphics saying “From Indiana, In Indiana, For Indiana”  with a waving Indiana flag in the background.  

Gregg’s team is clearly trying to put some focus on the thought that Pence may have his sights on higher office and give a little snipe at Pence for announcing his campaign via video while he was in D.C.  Nevermind the fact that Pence is a Congressman and was serving his constituents by actually showing up and voting.  We really don’t expect the State Democrats to respect that type of service anyway since they supported the 2011 Walkout stunt by House Democrats.

Gregg ‘s email also has a fundraising appeal asking people to “Invest in the Campaign.” 

 Two things seem clear to us. First, Gregg appears to be chasing Mike Pence and hoping to keep up.  Mike Pence, the clear front-runner for the Republican nomination for Governor, put out a campaign video a few days ago. Now, John Gregg puts out a video.  Mike Pence has raised over $300,000 just in major donor contributions since officially getting in the race.  Now, John Gregg has to focus on fundraising. 

Second, we are going to enjoy watching this race play out, if only because we are fascinated by John Gregg’s mustache.  We don’t think he needs a running mate – just make the mustache the Lt. Governor.

Random Updates on 2012 Races

This week had a few interesting tidbits on the upcoming 2012 campaigns.

Mike Pence released what his team is calling his first campaign video.  We’d say it is the second video since he announced with a video but we digress.  The video is a pretty typical bio spot and appears to have been shot during his Columbus campaign kick-off.  Also, it has been reported that Pence has raised $300,000 from major donors alone since making his campaign official.  The Gregg campaign said they are actively fundraising but didn’t report a number for comparison.  This is a big boost for Team Pence and should start the freight train rolling.  Pence isn’t unbeatable yet–but he is putting himself in strong position to make himself unbeatable.

The Indiana Senate race appears to be much of the same with a few blips about poor staff decisions on the Mourdock campaign.  It seems they need some classes on how not to deal with people harassing your candidate.  Rule #1:  Don’t touch anyone or their camera.  That said, to say that the blogger was assaulted is a stretch and this is really a non-story in the grand scheme of things. 

We are far more interested in the campaign finance reports that will come out in a month.  We’ll be watching to see if Mourdock has brought in the national donor groups and boosted his fundraising.  If he hasn’t, it is bad news for the Mourdock crew.

In a somewhat related note, there was a poll going around northeast Indiana with a ballot match-up between Lugar, McIntosh and Mourdock.  McIntosh has been rumored to be considering the 5th and 6th Congressional Districts and the poll led many to believe he was also considering the U.S. Senate Primary.  McIntosh cleared it up yesterday with a phone call to Jim Shella saying he is only considering the 5th Congressional District.  Looks like Congressman Burton continues to have a target on his back.

Finally, the 6th Congressional District is starting to become a little clearer.  McIntosh indicated he is no longer looking at the district.  Matt Strittmatter, former Wayne County Sheriff, got out of the race and has backed Luke Messer.  That leaves the 6th with Messer, Don Bates and Travis Hankins.  We’ll be keeping an eye on this one for more developments.

 

Congressional Races Heating Up

Now that we have that little announcement about the Governor’s race out of the way, the Congressional races decided they wanted in on the fun.

Jim Shella and Matt Tully have both reported that Luke Messer issued a statement following Mike Pence’s announcement for Governor. Shella indicates Messer will hold a formal announcement in the next few weeks. Messer is from Shelby County and was drawn into the 6th.   We have heard of a few other people being interested, including Wayne County Sheriff Matt Strittmatter.  That said, we would expect to see some pretty big hitters come out behind Messer after an impressive effort in the 5th Congressional District against Dan Burton.

Another interesting development  just reported by Hoosier Access is that Congressman Marlin Stutzman may be behind the push for a primary challenger to Jackie Walorski in the 2nd District.  State Senator Carlin Yoder is speculated to be weighing a challenge to Walorski but our friends at Hoosier Access hear that rumor is being pushed by Stutzman and his staff and is not based on actual actions by Yoder.  We’re unsure why Stutzman would want to wade into this since so much effort was put into drawing a Republican district and Walorski is rumored to already be working with the NRCC on her race. 

We’re not sure if there is some kind of a feud we do not know about playing here.  We do know that Stutzman wanted to keep some of Elkhart County and it was given to Walorski.  Still, that seems like a small reason to jump into a race that should be an a quick and easy primary with a focus on the general election.

For the Democrats, all seems to be quiet at this point outside of the 8th District where Bucshon has two Democrats fighting it out in a primary for a chance to go against him in the fall.

Mike Pence is Running for Governor

Today, Mike Pence has officially announced to supporters that he will be running for Governor. Pence held a conference call, sent out an email and released a video at a newly designed www.mikepence.com.   A formal announcement will be held June 11th in Columbus.

Speculation that Congressman Pence would run for Governor has been going on for nearly a year since Pence decided not to run for U.S. Senate against Evan Bayh. This was before now Sen. Coats got in the race and then Sen. Bayh got out of the race.  The Congressman spent last fall out on the stump, helping all the close Congressional races and building his team.

The announcement was supposed to be on Monday but was postponed due to the death of Osama bin Laden.  And, of course, there was the issue of premature announcement  yesterday when a pre-timed email was sent out by the campaign saying “Mike for Indiana” with blank text.  We are sure someone got into some big trouble for that one.

So where does this leave the race for Governor? 

First, it leaves us waiting for an opponent.  We do not believe there will be a viable primary challenger to Mike Pence.  On the Democrat side, it seems to be looking like John Gregg for Governor with Joe Donnelly opting for the U.S. Senate race.

Second, it leaves the race as a bit of a toss-up/leans Pence. Indiana is a Republican state but John Gregg is a conservative Democrat from the South and could potentially pose a threat.  The real question for us is if Mike Pence can find a message that works for the General Election.  While his strong, conservative stances on social issues have played well in conservative crowds nationally and here in Indiana, they may not be winning issues in a general election.  President Obama will be on the ticket so that could be a challenge– unless Mitch Daniels is the Republican nominee and that would greatly benefit Indiana Republicans. 

Let the games begin!

Pence Announcement Postponed

Congressman Mike Pence has postponed his announcement this morning in light of the recent events. 

We hear it will be later this week and we’ll let you know when we hear more.

Pence Announcement at 10AM Tomorrow

This afternoon, the buzz on the interwebs was that Congressman Mike Pence could be making an announcement Sunday evening. 

Now, the unofficial Pence for Governor Twitter account says an announcement is looming tomorrow at 10am.

We’ll be keeping an eye on it so we can all know the obvious as soon as it is official.

Congressional Fundraising Wrap-Up

This morning, we saw an article from the Journal Gazette on Congressman Marlin Sutzman’s fundraising for the quarter and it made us curious about the rest of the Indiana Delegation. 

Congressman Visclosky, District 1:  $73,568 raised, $469,547 cash on hand

Congressman Donnelly, District 2:  $363,288 raised, $338,286 cash on hand

Congressman Stutzman, District 3:  $59,937 raised, $33,184 cash on hand

Congressman Rokita, District 4:  $120,848 raised, $374,072 cash on hand

Congressman Burton, District 5:  $48,006 raised, $210,124 cash on hand

Congressman Pence, District 6:  $278,088 raised, $434,294 cash on hand

Congressman Carson, District 7:  $63,550 raised, $207,910 cash on hand

Congressman Bucshon, District 8:  $45,330 raised, $36,494 cash on hand

Congressman Young, District 9:  $154,283 raised, $140,070 cash on hand

A few things stood out to us.  First, Congressman Visclosky is in a strong financial position as well as politically.  The best time for a challenger, primary or general election, would have been in 2010 and the opportunity has passed.  We’re not sure if they can give him a crown but they may as well. 

Second, Congressman Donnelly has kicked up his fundraising.  We believe this is another indication he will be seeking the U.S. Senate seat in 2012 and we have been saying he will for months.  Third, Congressman Rokita is raising dollars and has significant cash on hand.  The question is why?  He is in a fairly safe seat and is known to be incredibly ambitious. We’ll be keeping an eye on it. Fourth, the worst kept secret in town is that Congressman Pence is running for Governor.  His fundraising and cash on hand seem to indicate he is getting his operation up and running.

Finally, Congressman Dan Burton is in the exact opposite position as Visclosky.  Burton’s cash on hand of just over $210,000 is the lowest cash on hand the year before an election year he has had in recent memory.  In 2009, he had $353,651 and he had $700,097 in 2007.  Granted, he has competition and has had to spend the money but he will likely have competition again this year.  A candidate that aggressively raises money could become a significant problem for the Congressman.  Politically, we’ve already discussed how the new district cuts out the areas where he is typically strongest.  This would be the year for someone to circle the wagons and win this district.

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