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Pass The Buck: Guv Wants Special Election To Take Place On Primary Day

Vacancy The Guv announced late yesterday that he would prefer not to call a special election in the Seventh Congressional District before next year's primary, leaving U.S. Rep. Julia Carson's seat open for almost five months.

In a letter to the two major political party bosses, the Guv's chief counsel, Mark Massa, wrote: "The Governor is prepared to select any date that the parties can agree is fair and workable but has asked that I inquire about holding the special election on Primary Day to minimize taxpayer expense."

Here's a copy of the letter: 7thCongressionalLetter.pdf

Is the Guv right to suggest that the cost of a special election is worth trading away five months of representation in Congress? Your thoughts?


Beth White has screwed up everything she has touched....she is a know it all who wont listen to anyone and then cries for help at the last minute and then blames others for her lack or organizational skill and leadership ....to expect her to run an election is unreasonable and to expect two within six weeks is unthinkable ...that woman cant cut it....

Greg Porter and David O. are extremely qualified candidates for this job. But that's another story.

The cheap shot at Beth White was duly noted. I've worked elections since 1979. Faye Mowery ran some stinky elections, too, but no one griped. Beth owned up, and ran, by all reasonable accounts, a good fall election.

But to expect her, or anyone, to run a special in mid-March, then turn around and run a primary within 45-50 days, is not realistic. It's asking for trouble.

Word has it, the special AND the primary could be run on the reduced-precint plan. If that's the case, there could be multiple new voting place assignments, and that is another headache for pollworkers.

Longterm, of course, it's smart, and will work. But for its inaugural run(s), two elections in six weeks is just stupid.

I too am concerned about our representation in the House. But to anyone paying attention, no House votes have been that close lately, and aren't likely to be soon. Julia's quite capable staff remains able ot do casework, under the control of the Clerk of the House. They're smart folks, they're experienced, and they can do the constituent service work that Julia championed.

We'll be fine. As our parents always taught us about difficult tasks: slow down, do it right, and don't trim corners.

I agree wholeheartedly-- PORTER for Congress!!

I don't know what rock you've been living udner, Wilson, but seniority and all its good/bad effects, is alive and well in this Congress. Big time.

How else do you explain the ridiculous efforts to keep Rep. Jefferson of Louisiana in office? He is a more-senior member.

How else did Sen. Lieberman get the chairmanship of an important committee, after he bolted on his party? Because he caucuses with the Ds and has--watch this--more seniority than the next person in line.

I could go on, but you get the point. To insinuate that seniority is a throw-away item, is ridiculous and out of touch.

The somewhat arbitrary power of "seniority" in Congress has been diminished considerably in the last few years. It's been somewhat replaced now by "merit" based on knowledge, skill and experience -- not just dates on a calendar...

9:56am. The most junior member of a majority party seeking to keep the majority is suddenly a very INFLUENTIAL member. You can rest assured that Pelosi and Hoyer and the Dems leadership will help the Democrat we send to DC in the special get legislation passed or amendments passed that help the district and its people.

To 9:56

They would be the most junior member of the current Congress but would be the most senior member of any elected this year if re-elected in the General.

If there are any other vacancies in other states it would be better to conduct the election as soon as possible to obtain as much seniority as possible.

Some comments
1) This would be a federal election.
2) someone will use either federal election law and/or one of the civil rights acts to force an earlier election.
3) an early election will result in some of the most entertaining dust ups to determine who gets the democrat party blessing.
4) whoever gets the seat will have virtually no power in this congress since they will be the most junior member; delaying the election really does not affect anything.

Why are these idiots still bashing Julia? she is dead and gone and we will miss her and loved her.....lots of misinformation on this blog by hate filled posters...a senate vacancy is filled by governor´s appointment not by special election...a house vacancy must be filled by a special election...now it would be mid to the end of March before a special election could be held....wait 6 weeks and have the election at the same time as the primary and save one half million dollars........the law does not specify when an election must be held just when the party caucuses must select candidates........get your facts straight before you start spewing your hate....GREG PORTER FOR CONGRESS

Indiana law (unlike some other states) does not specify a timeframe for the Special Election - only the Nominating Caucuses are required with 30 days of the vacancy. The Special Election date is entirely the Governor's call...

If the Governor doesn't provide a reasonable date the court can order the writ.

he would.

7:19pm. So how do you explain representatives like Dan Burton who live in predominantly white and weathy districts who vote for subsidies for corporations like Halliburton, welfare for the rich and government subsidies for contractors who overcharge ($1,000 toilet seats for the Pentagon). Why is it help for the poor and working class is wrong and welfare and tax breaks for the rich is OK. Quit griping, 7:19, find your candidate and lets get it on in March.

Did Mark Massa confer with the State Board of Elections? Is it possible to wait that long to hold a special election? For some reason, I thought a caucus or election had to occur between 30 and 90 days of the vacancy in order to prevent constituents from going without representation.

"Bad representation"? Speak for yourself, bucko. You live in white Republican conservative country, don't you, and hated Julia, never once understanding how we in the 7th District could keep voting her into office. Life isn't all about you and your big cars, McMansions and corporate profits (while bitching about your ungrateful employees who don't like your jobs paying $9 an hour with no benefits). Get over it, already, the woman's dead!"

Give me a break. Of course I understand why you folks voted her. She "legally" tried to take more of my money and turn around and give it to you. If Julia had her way, the inner city welfare bums would be living in Section 8 McMansions. Sorry, but her district had a lot of poor area in it. So much so that it was obvious that a socialist would be voted into that seat. As long as you have a heavy poor or lower income area voting, they are going to vote for the person who promises to take money from others who make more and turn around and give it to them. This is not a shocker, this is the way things are.

Indiana Code dictates a Special Election must be held unless the vacancy occurs less than 30 days before the General Election.

It would also be inappropriate to conduct the Special Election on Primary Election day as it most likely would confuse the voters having both the Special Election and Primary Election held.

If one uses the same process for the General Election the Special Election should only be held on the same day as the Primary Election if the vacancy occurred less than 30 days before the Primary Election.

In 1989, Dan Coats was appointed to replace Senator Dan Quayle's position. I don't remember when the appointment was made and the details on the writ for the election but the Special Election was held around the 28th of March.

There sure are a lot of posters not providing even a first name.

We've been with out a vote long enough. Let's get things rolling and vote in March like we are supposed to do.

if you hate julia so much why not replace her as soon as possible??

Not a whitie here. What difference will another 5 months make. Julia (God rest her soul), missed so many votes and meetings in her career that during these next 5 months, not a beat will be missed......so get of this kick...and lets get a good Democrat in the office....and remember, this is an election, not a coronation.

"Bad representation"? Speak for yourself, bucko. You live in white Republican conservative country, don't you, and hated Julia, never once understanding how we in the 7th District could keep voting her into office. Life isn't all about you and your big cars, McMansions and corporate profits (while bitching about your ungrateful employees who don't like your jobs paying $9 an hour with no benefits). Get over it, already, the woman's dead!

On the same note as I left above, I guess bad representation is better than no representation.

Well, we had a few months of zero representation and the Democrats acted like it was no big deal. Also, wasn't she right behind Burton for worst vote casting?

Going five months before a special election, in the guise of saving money, is not correct and may violate the Constitution. None of the other special Congressional elctions this year had such a long period of time from the vacancy to the special election. While an election in March is confusing, putting the special, at the SAME TIME as the primary is even more confusing. You'll have TV and radio ads for candidates running in the special airing along with ads for candidates running in the primary. What happens with debates? A debate just for candidates for the special. And separate debates for candidates in the primary?? In the special, there is only one D, one R, One L. In the primary, expect at least 6-12 D's, several R's. Let's do the special in late March. And there's a benefit to a March election. It would get voters used to the idea and maybe convince the dummies in both parties who refuse to move Indiana presidential primaries to a month where our votes make a difference.

I live in Souder's district, so this obviously does not directly affect me, but I think the monetary cost of a special election is small in comparison to the governmental cost of no representation for entire congressional district. At this rate, why don't we just wait for the general election in November?

We want to save money on elections but we spend money to send out property tax rebate checks. Come on, folks.

I find myself in the unique position of agreeing with this horrible governor for the first time in his term. It would be an incredible expense and manpower issue to have a special election when there is a primary so close. Let´s combine the two and save tons of money and lots of effort. I dont know how the two parties would staff the precincts for a one office special election.

if republicans want to take this seat their best hope is a special election

No one seemed too worried we were not being represented for the last 3 months - so what is wrong with going unrepresented another 5 more months ?

Personally for me the sooner the better so we can all move on with the process.

I'm betting Beth White, the Democrat poster child of incompetence, will send the Guv a box of chocolates for saving her from yet another catastrophe.

This has to be the happiest day of her one-term career in the clerks office.

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