It's Primary Day in Indiana and while you might think that this year is a snoozer, your vote is still just as important as always. This year's races are city-level, and Indy, for example, has been pretty darn good to the LGBT community since the last election. The Indianapolis City-County Council passed an inclusive human rights ordinance and now those councilors are up for re-election. You'll notice that one Democratic candidate, Carey Hamilton, is even advertising on our site to try and gain support among the LGBT community (and other candidates have reserved ad spots for the general election).
Up in South Bend though, it's a completely different story. There the City Council voted down a human rights ordinance that included sexual orientation and gender identity, so the course of action is clear - if they voted against you it's time to vote them out of office!
Primary elections are important for one particular reason. They help to define the direction of the party. For both the Democrats and the Republicans, the primaries are an easy way to tell which dogma is motivating the voters. For example, if Republican moderates (like Indy councilor Scott Keller - who is unopposed in the primary) won their elections overwhelmingly against fundie Bible beaters, it would send the message that the ideals of the religious right aren't what the average voter wants from the party. Same thing for the Dems... If the Councilors in Indianapolis who voted in favor of the ordinance were defeated in the primaries, it would send the message that voting in favor of LGBT rights was an automatic "kill the candidate" position.
I have four Indianapolis candidates that I want you to go out and vote for. All four are friends of our community and all four are facing primary opponents.
- Joanne Sanders (Current vice-president of the Council. She's an At-Large candidate so everyone can vote for her. She spoke out publicly against SJR-7)
- Jackie Nytes (One of the original co-sponsors of the human rights ordinance and the main Democratic force behind it.)
- Angela Mansfield (She's facing a really tough primary opponent who keeps talking about Angie's "lack of traditional values" after her vote for the HRO)
- Carey Hamilton (She's fighting to replace Republican Scott Schneider, the HRO's worst opponent who's stepping off the council. Her primary opponent's team has even stooped to comment bombing Carey's guest post here on bilerico!)
And finally, I'm going to suggest something a little extraordinary. (This isn't endorsed by anyone other than me, by the way!) Republican Scott Keller was the other driving force behind Indy's human rights ordinance. The Dems are running a tough challenger against him - Brian Mahern. Brian is facing a primary oppenent this election. If you want to help Scott out while still voting Democratic, go vote for Brian's opponent. The Democratic establishment is backing Mahern because he'll be a formidable opponent in a district where Scott only won the last election by a handful of votes. Let's help Scott out as much as we can, shall we?