Welcome to the campaign season starting line
Joe Hogsett's future—Thomas McDermott Jr.'s poll gambit—Mitch Daniels keeps talking to the press
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POST-ROE BLUE SURGE COMING TO INDIANA? Tom Bonier, a Democratic political strategist and the C.E.O. of TargetSmart, a data and polling firm, who wrote this revealing essay in The New York Times, told IMPORTANTVILLE that he's seen a 10-point swing in the gender split of newly registered voters in Indiana since the fall of Roe. Prior to the Supreme Court decision, men were registering at a margin of five points more than women. Now, that has flipped.
Welcome to campaign season, which unofficially kicked off yesterday across Indiana, with a flurry of television ad buys and no shortage of political intrigue.
WWJHD (WHAT WILL JOE HOGSETT DO?) Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett raised eyebrows on Labor Day with a trip to Boonville, Indiana—three hours south of Indianapolis, to be the grand marshal of the Boonville Labor Day parade. It was his first stop there since 2004. A handful of Indianapolis news outlets reached out to the mayor’s office when IMPORTANTVILLE broke the news, but got little in response: The move was the mayor acting in his personal capacity, they explained, not in his official capacity. Boonville Mayor Charlie Wyatt—a longtime Hogsett friend—invited the mayor. But statewide exposure is a welcome bi-product. “I’m just getting started,” Hogsett told Indiana Democrats at their June Big Dem Weekend, leading many party insiders to think he was laying the groundwork for a statewide bid.
There are several dynamics at play to consider. The first is that Hogsett, among elected leaders, is the putative leader of the Indiana Democratic Party. He has more than $2 million in the bank and is focused on helping elect political allies across the state. Already, he has given Democratic Senate candidate Thomas McDermott Jr. $1,000, the max allowed under federal election law. He’s given $7,500 to the House Democratic Caucus, $5,000 to the Marion County Democratic Party for 2022 races, and $2,500 to House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta. And the plan is for him to raise five figures for the full statewide ticket at an upcoming fundraiser. That money will flow through the Indiana Democratic Party rather than individual campaigns but will exclusively benefit the three statewide candidates.
The second dynamic, though, is that Hogsett, should he run for re-election, has at least one potential competitor at the door.
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