The good news is the primary is over. The bad news is the primary is over and I am not sure many people know it.
This is the third in a series of primary election blogs, (Find those here: Numbers one and two) and one I had planned to write last week but sat on because I was in disbelief. Not with the results per se, but with the lack of voter participation and what, if any, message can be gleaned from that. Fishers, Carmel and Noblesville all had challenged GOP mayoral primaries. Fishers and Carmel with incumbents vs a single opponent and Noblesville with an open seat 4 person contest. Westfield did not have a challenged primary for their incumbent mayor. While the contests were vastly different in their tone and civility, the constant was the “establishment," vendor /developer funded, more of the same candidates won and in most cases -BIGLY. Predictably, Mayor Fadness (in Fishers) and Mayor Brainard (in Carmel) both said the voters spoke and they approve of what they have done thus far and want more of the same. I find it difficult to disagree with that position. The FCoHC only endorsed one mayoral candidate Fred Glynn but we had expected a much higher turnout than what actually occurred.
After all, Home Place in Carmel was voting for the very first time in a municipal election; the Fishers election was suppose to bring out the “save the train folks” and Noblesville had four, count them FOUR, viable candidates. Instead Carmel had 601 less voters than the last primary, Fishers had 193 less ( from 2014) and only Noblesville increased the number of voters up by 1,011 over 2015. Not surprisingly, other than Dr. Hannon in Carmel ( At Large), all the incumbent city council establishment, vendor/developer funded candidates won as well, except in Westfield.
So what happened in Westfield? Three of the FCoHC endorsed candidates unseated the incumbent, establishment, vendor/developer funded candidates in a total shocker despite the low voter turnout. If one ascribes to the logic that the voters rewarded the sitting mayors , then one could conclude the voters in Westfield did the opposite. See IBJ link here.
In a totally biased observation the FCoHC only put together one candidate forum ( many thanks to Marla Ailor) during this primary season and it was in Westfield. Maybe that is the message that should be gleaned from this primary?