Indiana's midterm prospects + Dyngus Day is back
Also: Jennifer-Ruth Green goes negative in the 1st.
For a fleeting few hours on Monday, the day after Easter, the epicenter of Indiana's political world ran through St. Joseph County, where Republicans and Democrats alike celebrated Dyngus Day for the first time since 2019.
An annual holiday celebrated by the Polish diaspora, one marked by copious consumption of sausage and alcohol, national visits from big-time politicos have also defined the day. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy barnstormed Dyngus Day in South Bend in 1968, drawing 6,000 onlookers ahead of winning the state's Democratic Primary. Bill Clinton campaigned on Dyngus Day in South Bend, too, on behalf of his wife Hillary in 2008, as she battled for Indiana's 72 delegates. And in 2019, Pete Buttigieg made a stop here.
The return of in-person Dyngus Day celebrations signifies not only the unofficial start of the political season—Pete Buttigieg announced his state treasurer bid in 2010 at Dyngus Day—but also the beginning of the end of the pandemic when it comes to political glad-handing.
I checked in with some Hoosier politicos to see how they spent the day in terms of food and alcohol consumption:
U.S. Senate candidate Tom McDermott texted IMPORTANTVILLE that he had two sausage breakfasts, two bloody marys, and two beers as of midday Tuesday, "which is too much for this U.S. candidate," he said. "I need a nap."
Sen. Todd Young had a polish sausage, noodles, and green beans at Allie's Cafe. He enjoyed a beer at Politics and Pints in Merrillville tonight. Rep. Jackie Walorski enjoyed the same feast at Allie's, according to a spokeswoman.
U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Joe Donnelly texted from Rome that he celebrated the day by eating sausage "in honor of Dyngus Day, but it was on pizza!"
Indiana Democratic Party Chair Mike Schmuhl had a Budweiser and "toasted Joe Kernan and folks we've lost over the last few years." "Liquid lunch," he said. "This party chair had to get back to work."
Democratic candidate for Secretary of State Destiny Wells said she had a "sausage and egg breakfast with UAW. Picked up a dark chocolate mocha from South Bend Chocolate Company. Two beers. And the BBQ tips plate at the Elks before falling asleep in the car. Woke up in Peru on the way back to Indy. Obviously not driving."
Democratic State Rep. Maureen Bauer, of South Bend, said she had "BBQ chicken with a side of spaghetti, green beans and white bread with a bottled water."
Good afternoon, and welcome back to IMPORTANTVILLE. Things turned ugly in the 1st Congressional District this week, as I told you they would last week. The latest from Jennifer Ruth-Green, per IMPORTANTVILLE tipster Nate Loucks:
Milo’s statement pushed back on this characterization of her record last week. She “has a strong record of results growing investment and jobs for Hoosiers and decreasing crime,” a spokeswoman said. “Throughout this campaign she’s provided a vision for The Region and our country. It was her hope this primary could remain positive and focused on issues to help turn this country around. Jennifer-Ruth has rejected that approach and instead chosen a negative campaign, which is a clear sign she thinks she’s losing. Worse, Green is failing to appreciate how hard Republicans in the 1st District have worked these many years to position the party to win this seat in November.”
MIDTERM RATINGS: Politico is up today with its 2022 predictions for Indiana. The Senate race is “solid Republican” and all congressional districts except the 1st and the 7th are “solid GOP.” The 1st, where Rep. Frank Mrvan will likely face the winner of the GOP primary, is “LEAN DEM.” Rep. Andre Carson’s 7th is “SOLID DEM.”
PENCE TO IOWA: INBOX: “Today, Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-Hull) formally announced that he and 48th Vice President Mike Pence will serve breakfast to convention delegates at Iowa’s 4th District Convention on Saturday, April 23rd in Carroll from 9:30 AM to 10 AM. The 4th District Convention begins at 10 AM at Carroll High School. “We are excited to welcome Vice President Pence back to Northwest Iowa for the 4th District Convention,” said Feenstra. “As he likes to say: He’s a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican - in that order. Those values represent the fabric of the folks of the 4th District, and I am eager to host him in Carroll to advance our conservative vision for Iowa and America.”
INDIANA DEMOCRATS HEAD BACK ON TOUR FOR 4/20: INBOX: “Tomorrow, Tom McDermott (Mayor of Hammond, U.S. Senate Candidate), Destiny Wells (Candidate for Secretary of State), Ryan Mears (Marion County Prosecutor), Jason Straw (Chairman, Indiana NORML), Jeff Staker (Founder, Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis), and Jeff Piper (Indiana Veteran) will launch a statewide press tour calling on Indiana’s political leaders to legalize recreational cannabis across the state. The four-day, seven-stop tour will begin in Indianapolis and will highlight why Indiana and Hoosiers would benefit from this win-win policy idea.”
Republican Treasurer candidate Pete Seat remains the only candidate not to take out a loan for his candidacy. He raised $77,648.94 this cycle so far, including $16,347,04 in the 1st quarter.
“Lobbyists loved Mike Pence, hitting his office up more than any VP ever. Here's what they wanted,” by USA Today's Maureen Groppe
As pharmaceutical companies raced in 2020 to produce vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, two former House colleagues of then-Vice President Mike Pence hoped to sell him on an all-natural pandemic prevention compound involving extracts from green tea, turmeric root and cruciferous vegetables.