Not only did the city of Indianapolis do what no one expected (by voting out a strong incumbent), another Indiana city has gone against the grain in a huge way.
Terre Haute, Indiana, has been a Democratic strong hold for decades. Not since the late 60s has there been a GOP mayor. I remember when I lived there, the union mentality was so pronounced and so entrenched into the people's value systems, I witnessed a picket line at a drug store chain.
And we all know how unions gravitate to the Democratic Party.
But yesterday another upset occurred, something that no one in that city of 60,000 (or so) would have ever expected. The western Indiana city best known for its strong union presence, home of Indiana State University, and the birthplace of Eugene V. Debs, Socialist Party candidate for President in the early 1900s, elected a Republican mayor named Duke Bennett.
This demonstrates the tide of anti-incumbent sentiment. Incumbent Mayor Kevin Burke became the fourth consecutive incumbent to go down in defeat, something that has happened since 1991. Until yesterday, all of those incumbents were voted out in the Democratic primaries. Until yesterday, the primaries were the points where the elections were decided, because a Democrat was always guaranteed victory in November.
So, to my national and international reading audience, I say look at what some hard work at the grass roots level can do. Whenever people say, "I think there's nothing that can be done about it", maybe it's time to think again. Well-funded machine candidates can lose, if the people choose to vote them out. It's simple, just go to the polls and place a vote. If enough people can do it, the results can be different than in years past.