Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Vop Osili and District 15 Vs At Large candidacy

I've been doing some mulling over the announcement that Vop Osili will be running for City-County Council District 15. Osili was the candidate the Democrats nominated for Secretary of State, but only won a handful of counties, including Marion County.

There was a lot of Internet Blog Speculation about Osili running for an At-Large seat, but I think that was coming from speculators who were basing their statements on rumors rather than reliable sources.

I think Osili has his sites set on a career in politics. It must be hard in the world of politics to go from running for a state-wide office for a full time job down to a part-time legislative office.

But in Indiana politics, it seems you need to establish a record of winning, and establish it quickly. Recent history is full of established winners and perennial candidates, and after a candidate loses, it seems like they aren't taken seriously as an office seeker anymore.
Osili saw the writing on the wall. He needs to establish a record of winning elections. And while he could've run for an At-Large seat, he would've faced stiff competition from previously announced candidates. And as Joanne Sanders demonstrated in the 2007 municipal election,the At-Large seats don't always go the way of the mayoral race.

Running for district 15 is almost a guaranteed win, and Osili will be able to spend a large amount of time campaigning for his fellow Democrats in the mayoral race (Melina Kennedy) and other council candidates in more competitive districts.

Osili has a future in Indianapolis, and maybe even state wide politics. But he needs to prove to the powers-that-be that he can be a positive and effective force. He made the right decision in running within a district rather than At-Large.


  1. I think Vop Osili's only competition would have been within the Democratic Party for an at-large position. I highly doubt he would have been worried about losing an at-large seat in a general election.

    My guess his decision was more about stepping on the toes of existing at-large candidates who had already gotten Ed Treacy's blessing. He probably waited too long and instead focused on a district seat.

    If he has bigger ambitions though, beign in an at-large seat would be better than being in a district seat.

    You're right about winning races.

    The only way that an at-large seat goes Repubilcan is if Mayor Ballard only barely loses to Kennedy and the R at-large candidate is more popular than Ballard will be after a bruising, negative campaign. I doubt that will happend because the D's will also be going negative against the R at-larges...tying them closely to Ballard. They're all going to sink together.

  2. I followed the story very carefully, and I had conversations with Vop quite often. He is running for the district race because of a desire to serve and because many people have asked him to do so.

    I do hear that David "King" Baird is running for District 15, too, but I need to track down that rumor.

  3. I also heard that a community organizer in district 15 named Patrice Duckett is also planning to run. Yes, Baird is running Jon not a rumor. He submited his paperwork last week to run.


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