Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Stemler is Out. But who is In?

Reprentative Steve Stemler 


State Representative Steve Stemler went public last week that he is not seeking re-election. 

Rep. Stemler has been a consistent bright spot in Indianapolis representing Southern Indiana. He has been a common sense leader regardless of your politics. Because of that he earned the admiration and respect of those on both sides of the isle.

A heart felt Thank You goes out to Representative Stemler for his service! 

Now the $1,000,000 Question: Is he done or looking at going another political route? Maybe he just wants to with the family more and run his business. Serving at the state level has to take its toll on a family and career. Steve has been doing this a long time. It takes a special situation professionally and personally to be able to spend the time required in Indy year after year.   BUT... He sure would be a strong candidate for Mayor against Mike Moore.

So who throws in the hat?  My bet is there will be a TON of people come out of the cracks for this seat. Here is a list of who may be on the ballot in my humble opinion:

1. Matt Owen: The safe money is on Matt Owen announcing very soon. While I think he ultimately wants to be Mayor Owen, this seat would give him a ton of experience in seeking the Mayor's chair  down the road. With Moore in for at least one more term, seeking this seat could give Owen potentially 2 terms in the statehouse before the next go around for Mayor. (State Reps are elected every 2 years.) Plus, with Matt being so close to County and District Chair Jamey Noel, it would be easy for Noel to back Owen which would potentially thin the republican candidates in favor of Owen.
Odds of Running: 1:1

2. Zach Payne/Callie Jahn: One of the dynamic duo. With Zach, there have been whispers of him looking at taking on Rep. Terry Goodin in the next election. But that would require a move into that district with Rep. Goodin being a very strong and longtime incumbent to that district. As for Callie, the first term city councilwoman has spent some time completing her studies. A move to Indy could make sense for her both personally and professionally. This could be an easy race for either of them to jump in on and put an interesting spin on what promises to be a fun primary to watch. Callie is the strong choice because she has the private sector experience that Zach does not. But if Zach wants it, Callie will be in the background to support him and visa versa making either of them a potential primary contender. Time will tell.
Odds of one of them running for this seat: 6:1

3. Former Mayor Tom Galligan: Is former Mayor Galligan is still in the background? While he has been quiet in local politics for a few years, the Dems will need a well known and established name to hold on to that seat. Don't be surprised to see Tom pop up in this race.
Odds of Running: 10:1

4. John Perkins: John took a beating in the last election but don't underestimate his ego. Based on that alone is why I think Perkins may throw his hat in the ring for one last hoo-rah.
Odds of Running: 20:1

5. Dennis Julius: Dennis, by all rights, would be the strongest person on the Dems ticket to step forward. He has the support system in place for his business, is very well thought of in the community, and would be well supported by the Dems should he jump in the race. Running against Mayor Moore was a shot in the dark with all that is going on in Jeff. An open seat scenario would look a whole lot different.
Odds of Running: 2:1

6. Lisa Gill: Lisa has put in a great deal of time representing Jeffersonville. She has the contacts throughout the state and the time to go to Indy as she is a "full time" city councilwoman. The questions is, does she want it? I could easily see her walking around the statehouse with the Rep. Lapel Pin on doing her thing. If she jumps in, it would definitely be worth looking at her as a front runner. I for one would like to see her and Matt Owen go head to head.
Odds of Running: 10:1

7. The Dark Horses: For a vacant state seat, there is no telling which political new comers from within the district could pop-up. There are a lot of local business people and such who put a great deal of time working with those in Indianapolis while working locally as well. But which of them are in the district and willing to throw the hat in is another conversation. 

What are your thoughts? Put them in the comments below. 


  1. John Perkins is strongly looking at running in 2018 in current Senator Smith's district in the Democrat primary for senator. Sen. Smith may not survive the Republican Primary, however.

    1. Word on the street is SHOULD Smith decide to run again (he's seemed to have fallen off the face of the earth since before the end of session and not publicly stated if he's in or out) he probably has very little support. Early conversation seems to be in favor of this primary opponent, political new comer Chris Garten.

      Garten is a business owner and Gunnery Sargent in the Marine Reserves with two combat tours under his belt. See more here: https://www.facebook.com/GartenforSenate/

      Should Perkins jump into this race, I have admittedly underestimated his opinion of himself.

    2. I like it! This "new opinion site" has already scooped the N-T, the C-J, the CCC, GAW, and the Bat himself.....Perkins running is a nice touch.

  2. I'd like to buy Perkins for what he's worth
    and sell him for what he thinks he's worth.

  3. John Perkins may intend to make the political process work once again as it should. Choices. The guy from Scottsburg who owns Signature is said to be unbeatable in both the Republican Primary and the General Election.

    However, Perkins enjoys the political process. Choices.

  4. Steve Stewart has the gravitas and rumor has it he's almost persuaded.

    1. Stewart for state rep or state senate? Pray, do tell!

      As for Senate 45, rumor has it Julie Berry has been fishing around for another go as well.

  5. The rumor is that a D from Madison spent a ton of money to loose in that senate race last time. The guy from Signature looks very strong this time.
    Perkins should run as he would make the race interesting.
    He is knowledgeable and engaged.
    Stewart would be a very good candidate for the open state rep seat, but the word is that he is "done with politics"...
    Has that changed? What does the Bat Blog say?
    That Bat dude is always up on things.

    1. Not sure on Stewart. The post above was the first time I'd heard his name.

      The D from Madison is Julie Berry.

      Not sure where the "Bat" lands on these things.

      Check out today's SI Open Minded Blog post. It is specific to Senate District 45.


  6. It is rumored that Jeff City Councilman Scot Hawkins may be interested in taking on Mr Owen in the republican primary. Though I am sure that a deal will be reached to clear the field.

  7. Should Scott Hawkins run, he would be a strong opponent for Matt Owen. He is well liked in his district. Choices are good to have on any ballot but I have to wonder how much support he would have from local republican leaders being Owen had not only Jamey Noel's endorsement but Governor Holcomb's as well.

    Still no word on who the Democrats will be fielding. Whomever it is will need to be announcing soon.

  8. I agree with that. But if you look at the article and mr Owens comments carefully- the governor did not endorse him. Noel did.