Although the November municipal election seems to be a long way off, there is no lack of political activity.
In less than four months, local residents will cast ballots to determine the next mayor in Anderson and Alexandria. Democrat Todd Jones is assured of a second term in Elwood since the Republican Party failed to field a candidate.
When it comes to Elwood, every Democrat on the ballot has already won, since there is only one contested race for the District 1 seat on the city council.
That means the city of Elwood will save money this election cycle: The Madison County Election Board this week decided to open only the precincts in District 1 on Election Day.
Incumbent Democrat Samuel Tyner is being opposed by Republican Kira Wilson, who did not run in the May primary.
It can be expected that the voter turnout in Elwood will be extremely low.
Is this the strategy?
Several weeks ago I wrote concerning the lack of Republican Party candidates for the three at-large seats and two district seats on the Anderson City Council and the potential impact on the mayoral campaign of Rick Gardner in his bid to unseat incumbent Democrat Thomas Broderick Jr. and keep Libertarian Rob Jozwiak from becoming mayor.
I questioned the strategy of failing to have a full slate of council candidates on any future administration of Gardner’s.
Since then, several Republicans have offered that the strategy was supported by Gardner.
Their belief is that by having no opponents, the three Democrats running at-large will not campaign in the fall.
But it's hard to imagine incumbents Rebecca Crumes and Ty Bibbs and former councilman Rick Muir not campaigning for the Democratic Party ticket.
There are some Republicans under the belief that Gardner could gather support from Crumes and Bibbs in an effort to garner votes in the African American community, whom they assume is unhappy with the Broderick administration.
Since then, Councilman Ollie H. Dixon and former Anderson Township Trustee John Bostic have both publicly stated support for Broderick that there are a lot of in-roads to be gained by Gardner in the city’s 4th Ward.
It will be something to watch on Election Day.
Campaigning at the city council meeting
At the Anderson City Council meeting last Thursday, Jozwiak addressed the council concerning funding for the Rangeline Community Center.
He started by stating he was the Libertarian Party candidate for mayor and closed by pledging if elected, funding would be made available.
Making political campaign statements during a council meeting should never be allowed.
Council President Crumes should admonish those wishing to speak that it’s not a platform for political rhetoric and quickly gavel the comments to an end.
It would be like any current elected official starting a statement by stating they are a candidate for reelection.
Current elected officials have a “bully pulpit” advantage, but that shouldn’t be utilized as a political platform.
Senior Reporter Ken de la Bastide’s column publishes Sundays. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 765-640-4863.