Andrew Downs

What Is A Caucus?

Nov 10, 2015
Courtesy / Andrew Downs

Fort Wayne City Clerk Sandy Kennedy resigned from office on October 13th.  State Representative Jud McMillin resigned his position September 29th.  These are examples of vacancies in elected offices that are filled by caucuses.  This is something that happens fairly frequently in Indiana, but few people understand how it works. 

Don't Forget The 2015 Elections

Sep 1, 2015
Courtesy/Andrew Downs

It is 2015, yet most of the discussion about elections focuses on 2016. In some ways this is not surprising given that 2015 is an “off-year” for elections. Even though it is an off-year, there still are elections happening this year and the presidential campaigns are drowning out these elections by starting earlier and earlier each cycle.

Courtesy / Andrew Downs

The first presidential debate is scheduled for Aug. 6th on Fox News.  This might seem ridiculous given that the presidential election is 16 months away (for those planning ahead: it's Nov. 8, 2016). But keep two things in mind.

Is Pence’s Reelection Bid in Trouble?

Jul 1, 2015
Courtesy / Andrew Downs

In June, Bellwether Research and Consulting released a poll examining Hoosiers' views of Gov. Mike Pence and some of his possible opponents in 2016.  The immediate reaction was that the reelection bid by Indiana Governor Mike Pence was in trouble. 

There were reasons to think this:

Measuring Success in Policy Not as Easy as it Seems

Jun 11, 2015
Courtesy / Andrew Downs

The Indiana General Assembly completed its work right at the mandated deadline of April 29th and most of the legislation that was passed will go into effect on July 1st.  While people might think of the legislative process as being over at this point, the public policy process is not.  An often forgotten part of the process is determining whether or not a policy has worked.

Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

The biggest pool of candidates in the Fort Wayne municipal primaries comes in the race for three at-large positions on the Fort Wayne City Council.

The at-large race for city council includes a whopping sixteen candidates vying for a total of six nominations. That includes seven candidates for the Republicans and nine for the Democrats.

The race is made even more interesting because two of the three available at-large seats will be vacant, meaning lots of new faces are vying to represent the residents of Fort Wayne.

Fort Wayne’s Democratic primary race for mayor features four candidates this year, including the incumbent, Mayor Tom Henry.

Henry is seeking a third term as Fort Wayne’s mayor, but he’ll face competition for the nomination.

Two-term Wayne Township Trustee Richard Stevenson is challenging Henry on a platform of talent retention and refocusing the city’s development efforts.

Meanwhile, candidate Tom Cook says he wants to focus on neighborhood development and creating opportunity for lower-income residents.

In Allen County, Plenty of Contested Primaries

May 1, 2015

The Indiana municipal primaries take place Tuesday, May 5th -- a chance for Democrats and Republicans to choose the candidates who will be running for local offices this November.

In Allen County, some races are entirely uncontested, but many should be competitive, especially the seats being vacated by incumbents.

All this week, we've been bringing you snapshots of Fort Wayne’s primary field with the help of Andy Downs at the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at IPFW.

Courtesy / Andrew Downs

The Indiana General Assembly is required to complete its work no later than April 29th in the years when they pass a two-year budget.  It is quite common for them to work right up to that deadline like they did this year. 

As this session ended, people began talking about how memorable this session was.  They certainly have some notable legislation and events to point to when they are making their case. 

Courtesy / Andrew Downs

On March 23rd, the Committee on Elections in the Indiana Senate voted 6-0 to send House Bill 1236 to the full Senate for consideration.  Back on January 27th, HB 1236 cleared the Indiana House of Representatives on a vote of 70 to 28.  These are indicators that this bill will become a law.