KEEP CHECKING HERE AND REFRESHING FOR ELECTION UPDATES AND COMMENTARY
11:45pm – Not sure there’ll be another update from the Election Board. The Lawrence Township races are the only races outstanding from a busy night of “blue wins” in a dark sea of red across the country. So, that’s it from here…
11:43pm – With 99% of precincts counted, and just seven precincts uncounted, no changes, except in the Lawrence Township Small Claims Court race where with all 74 precincts counted, Judie Conley lost her race against James Joven by only 126 votes.
11:20pm – The latest vote total update, as of 11:07pm, has 97% of the county’s vote counted, with 15 precincts left to count. No changes. Judie Conley still has a roughly 257 vote lead in the Lawrence Township Small Claims Judge race. Another Democrat, Terry Burns, is now ahead of his GOP opponent for Lawrence Township Constable by 476 votes. There are two precincts not yet counted in these two races.
10:50pm – Republicans are celebrating major victories nationally and in Indiana, but in the state’s largest city and in one of the biggest cities in the country, Republicans didn’t extremely poorly. The failure of the GOP to hold the Prosecutor’s Office, to win any countywide offices and in the midst of a major Republican wave, African-Americans went to the polls and extended Democratic control of all countywide offices and retained control of five of the county’s nine townships. The big Democratic wins should give Mayor Greg Ballard cause for great concern. Tuesday’s election reinforces that Marion County is a Democratic county. And the next election up is Mayor this time next year.
10:46pm – The victories in Marion County seem to be the bright spot in a dismal night for Indiana Democrats. Democrats have lost their majority in the state House of Representatives and the GOP gained a “supermajority” in the State Senate. That gives Governor Mitch Daniels and GOP legislative leaders the ability to ram their agenda down the legislature’s throat. But Gov. Daniels’ failure to keep GOP hold on the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office could open the door to investigations of Daniels’ Administration wrongdoing.
10:35pm – Outgoing Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi has issued a statement of congratulations to Prosecutor-elect Terry Curry. In it Brizzi, who labelled the statement from “Outgoing prosecutor (and generally nice guy) Carl Brizzi” told the Prosecutor-elect “Let me be one of the first to congratulate you on becoming Marion County Prosecutor. It is an incredibly important and immensely satisfying position with a long history of accomplishment and prosecutorial success. You are ably suited, armed with a wealth of experience, to fill this critical role.” And Brizzi promised his and his department’s full cooperation on a smooth transition. Brizzi’s full statement was extremely gracious, friendly and classy.
10:21pm – With just two precincts uncounted, Lawrence Township Trustee Russell Brown has been elected to a full term in his own right. Democrat Brown was named to fill the vacancy after the resignation of the previous Trustee last year. Trustee Brown is ahead of Republican Dino Batalis by 1,700 votes. The remaining two uncounted Lawrence Township precincts will determine if Democrat Judie Conley wins the township’s Small Claims Judge position. Conley is ahead by 218 votes with two precincts left to count.
10:15pm – All the African-American incumbent legislative candidates from Marion County won. Re-elected by overwhelming margins over their GOP opponents were Representatives Cherrish Pryor (Dist 94), John Bartlett (Dist 95), Greg Porter (Dist 96), Bill Crawford (Dist 98) and Vanessa Summers (Dist 99). Also re-elected were Representatives Mary Ann Sullivan (Dist 97) and John Day (Dist 100).
10:00pm – All the countywide offices in Marion County, except for Mayor and at-Large City-County Councillors are Democrats.
9:58pm – With 96% of Marion County’s vote in, Democrats have swept all the countywide offices for the first time in decades. County Clerk Beth White beat Jana Scott by 17,000 votes. Sheriff-elect John Layton crushed Dennis Fishburn by 24,000 votes, while County Auditor Billie Breaux was re-elected defeating Joe Hecko by 12,000 votes. County Recorder Julie Voorhies won re-election defeating Ted Clements by 11,000 votes. And newcomer County Assessor-elect Joseph O’Connor beat Becky Williams by 7,000 votes.
9:51pm – There are just 22 precincts out of 590 left to be counted. As his margin has increased, we’re ready to declare Terry Curry the winner in the Marion County Prosecutor’s race. With 96% of the vote counted, Prosecutor-elect Curry (D) is leading Mark Massa (R) by nearly 6,000 votes. This is a major victory for Democrats and a major defeat for Governor Mitch Daniels, who orchestrated picking his former Chief Counsel to run. And helping raise hundreds of thousands for his campaign. Prosecutor-elect Curry will be the first Democratic prosecutor since Jeff Modisett in 1994.
9:31pm – All but 32 precincts countywide have been counted by 9:30pm, a record fast count. The main story lines at this point are that it looks like a Democrat will be the next Marion County Prosecutor, for the first time in sixteen years. All incumbent state legislators from Marion County have been re-elected, except Representative John Barnes who is losing by 550 votes with 3 precincts left to count in House District 89. The entire Democratic countywide ticket won, led by Sheriff-elect John Layton. But Democrats have lost the Wayne Township Trustee race with Andy Harris beating David Baird. But Democrats are in two very close races for to retain Small Claims Judge and Constable spots in the township. It looked like Democrats were losing township offices in Lawrence township, but incumbent Russell Brown is leading by 1,600 votes with 5 precincts left to count. An Judie Conley is ahead by a razor thin 262 votes in the township Small Claims Judge race.
9:20pm – With 92% of the vote counted, Terry Curry clings to a 5,000 vote lead over Mark Massa. If this lead holds, Curry would be the first Democratic Prosecutor in sixteen years.
9:01pm – After being behind most of election night or locked in a seesaw race, Terry Curry has moved ahead of Mark Massa by 4,000 votes. Curry’;s largest margin of the night. This could be the biggest Democratic win of the night locally.
9:00pm – Five-sixth (86%) of the vote is in. Here’s what we’re seeing. 15,000 more people voted straight Democratic than straight Republican – 64,000 vs 49,000. Dan Coats may have won the Senate seat, but he lost the county he calls home to Brad Ellsworth 52% to 42%. Vop Osili won Marion County in the Secretary of State’s race, giving Democrats control of the top ballot line locally and election inspectors. Andre Carson has been re-elected to a second term in Congress, winning easily in a tough Democratic year.
8:55pm – This is the quickest most of the Marion County vote has been counted. With 81% of the vote counted some 3 hours after the polls closed.
8:53pm – Sheriff Frank Anderson failed in his bid to be elected to the State Senate. Voters in Senate District 31 re-elected incumbent Sen. Brent Merritt by 7% or some 1,800 votes with 87% of the vote counted.
8:48pm – Andre Carson, the grandson of the late Julia Carson, has been re-elected to a second full term in Congress. Facing Republican Dr. Marvin Scott, who blasted Carson with racist innuendoes about his religion and Carson’s ties to President Barack Obama, Carson won soundly by some 19,000 votes or 17% with 82% of the vote counted in the 7th District.
8:45pm – Vop Osili may be losing statewide for Secretary of State, but he’s winning comfortably in Marion County. And that’s a victory for Democrats. In every county, whichever party’s candidate for Secretary of State wins, that party occupies the top line in election ballots and that party is responsible for polling place inspectors. So Democrats will continue to hold Inspector positions for the next four years.
8:35pm – Republicans held a state representative seat that Democrats wanted badly. Longtime Representative Phil Hinkle (R) beat back challenger Brett Voorhies (D) by 14% or 3,900 votes.
8:34pm – In the battle for control of the Indiana House of Representatives, Republican may have won a critical piece of the puzzle for control. With 82% of the vote counted, incumbent John Barnes (D) is losing by 4% or 600 votes to challenger Cindy Kirchhofer.
8:25pm – Republicans could be on the verge of picking up control of two townships. In Lawrence Township, Dino Batalis (R) is ahead in the Trustee race of Russell Brown (D) with 65% of the vote counted. In Wayne Township with 64% of their vote counted, Andy Harris (R) is ahead of incumbent David Baird (D).
8:20pm – Where were the voters? I’ve noticed that the turnout may not be as strong as many people thought here. In 2006, which was a good year for Democrats in Marion County, nearly 204,000 voted in the election then. With 54% of the vote counted, the total that voted so far is 106,000. If that pace holds, some 212,000 to 220,000 will have voted today. A bit higher than four years ago, but not as many as some thought earlier today.
8:15pm – Nearly all the votes have been counted in Center Township. And Democrats sweep the township offices. Eugene Akers has been elected the new Center Township Trustee. Small Claims Judge Michelle Smith Scott and Constable Tony Duncan have been re-elected. Akers won by nearly three to one over his GOP opponent and Scott and Duncan won by comfortable three to one margins as well.
8:05pm – 42% of the vote is in. Andre Carson leads Marvin Scott by 10%. In the Prosecutor race, Mark Massa leads Terry Curry by 4%. In the Sheriff’s race John Layton leads Dennis Fishburn by 5%
7:53pm – With a third of the vote in the 7th District, Andre Carson (D) is ahead of Marvin Scott (R) by 9% or 3,600 votes.
7:51pm – Almost a third of the county vote is in. The strongest GOP countywide race is for County Assessor where Becky Williams (R) is leading Joe O’Connor (D). That was not expected. The Prosecutor’s race is neck and neck. And incumbent County Auditor Billie Breaux (D) is running behind the rest of the incumbent Democrats on the ticket.
7:35pm – In the local legislative races, State Senate, Republican Mike Delph is leading Dem Robin Shackleford and James Merrit (R) is leading Sheriff Frank Anderson (D). In the State Rep races, all the incumbents are leading, except for John Barnes who is trailing Cindy Kirchhofer with a third of the vote in.
7:30pm – 90 mins after the polls close. 20% of the local vore has been counted. In Marion County Ellsworth is slightly leading Coats and Vop Osili is neck and neck with Charlie White. With 21% of the 7th District vote in Carson leads Scott comfortably as of now. Massa is ahead of Curry for prosecutor, but it is very close. And the rest of the county ticket is close, Dems and GOP are neck and neck.
7:15pm – 8% of the county vote is in (46 precincts). The countywide Dem ticket is neck and neck with their GOP opponents. This will go on for a white as the GOP township precincts tend to report first, though some Democrat precincts are coming in early too. Ellsworth is leading Coats and Vop Osili is leading Charlie White. In the 7th District Congress race, Andre Carson has taken an early lead, but it’s far too early.
7:08pm – 9% of Hoosiers of voting age are Black. Yet 11% of respondents to the Indiana Senate network exit poll were Black. Which would mean a “heavy Black turnout”. But the exit poll also says that 13% of Blacks voted for Coats. Also, more men than women are in the poll, which implies that more men voted today than women statewide. Also the exit poll was over 40% GOP and a little more than 30% Democrat.
7:01pm – National networks declare Dan Coats winner of the Indiana Senate race. No surprise. The question is will Coats win his new “home” county of Marion.
7:00pm – First returns (4 precincts) are from Center Township areas that are stronger GOP than the rest of the downtown (probably downtown and near south side). One Wayne Precinct is included. Dems are leading, but very, very early to tell trends.
7:00pm – All polls in Indiana close (the polls in NW and SW Indiana close at 6pm Central, 7pm Eastern time). We should see the first results of the network exit polls on the Indiana Senate race.
5:30pm – This is a first time experiment. We’ll see how it goes. I welcome your comments at our Facebook page, Amos Brown – WTLC. The fun starts at 7pm.