Yesterday's votes are not fully counted, but already there are some important lessons helpful to progress within the Republican Party for the glbt community.
First, Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, who has been openly supportive of the glbt community in Indiana, has survived and prospered against a Democratic tide. As of this writing (so far as I know) Jon Elrod, a Republican who openly opposes the anti-marriage amendment, is leading by a hair in what has been considered to be a strong Democratic district. Both attended the Lambda Legal Fundraising Dinner, the Rainbow Chamber's meet and greets, and the joint Log Cabin and First Republican's meet and greet. Both have been very open to discussion of glbt issues. It is not insignificant that both also ran unapologetically as Republicans, employing some fairly classic electioneering.
Eric Dickerson, who also has been supportive, fell far short in the end in a heavily Democratic district, running without Republican Party support and not in a conventional precinct-by-precinct manner. His was an honorable undertaking, but in the end he may have benefitted from some of the conventional advice that political pros offered. He made it far by ignoring much of it, but perhaps ignored too much of it in retrospect. In the past, the wrong candidates (conservatives) lost, but the conventional methods were not at fault. In this case, the right candidate ran, but did not pursue the conventional electioneering methods that may be necessary for victory. (Those includes cozying up to ward chairs and precinct committee chairs, for instance.) Were he to try to run again, he could be successful, but would need to go back and study the textbooks.
Meanwhile, in a Republican House district, Katherine Densborn lost by a large margin to David Orentlicher in a match up between diametrically opposed positions of social conservativism and social liberalism. That fact and the defeat of mean-spirited messages from Hostettler and Sodrel, combined with moderate success in Central Indiana, send a loud message to the Republican Party that Indiana, while Republican, is not Mississippi.
Beginning in Central Indiana, we need the Moderate, not the Mean.