The Evansville City Council of the Future


The Mole #??

Handicapping the 2011 Elections

The 2010 elections are a full month behind us, the conditions that led to the “throw the bums out” attitude are still firmly in place and thoughts are turning to next year’s election cycle. 2011 is one of those years that will provide the people of Evansville with the opportunity to choose the people who will govern them for the next four years.

The issues on which people will be making their decisions in the 2011 election for Evansville City Council will be much the same as they have been in years past such as economic development, the state of the City, the will of the people toward incumbents, infrastructure, current projects and quality of life. There are also issues that have been suppressed in past elections that are very likely to be factors in the decision process in 2011.

In the 2007 City elections there was a strong incumbent Mayor in Jonathan Weinzapfel that had both weak opposition and long coattails. As Mayor Weinzapfel has not announced his intentions to seek the office of Mayor for a third time and will be seeing a strong challenge in the Democratic primary from Vanderburgh County Treasurer Rick Davis, the strong coattail effects that Team Weinzapfel had in 2007 will not be a factor in 2011. The City County Observer’s ward by ward and at large projections are as follows.

Ward 1: Incumbent Republican City Councilman Dan McGinn will see little if any opposition in either the primary or the general election and will be re-elected to his seat.

Ward 2: Incumbent Councilwoman Missy Mosby has already been challenged in the primary by Evansville Fireman Patrick McBride. Both candidates have already started the fundraising process and are expected to have a heated and expensive primary where Councilwoman Mosby will have to defend her devotion to Mayor Weinzapfel’s recently unpopular positions. There are no announced Republicans yet but the Mole Nation tells us that businessman E. L. Walters and recent Vanderburgh County Council candidate Bill Kramer have expressed both interests and intentions privately to seek the Republican nomination. We expect strong contests in both primaries and in the general election. The winner will most likely be determined by the mood of the voters and the condition of the economy in the fall of 2011.

Surprise Note: Some wannabe Moles have mentioned the name of recently defeated by two votes for Knight Township Trustee Jim Braker as a person who is considering a run for the Evansville City Council from Ward 2 as a Republican.

Ward 3: The Mole Nation tells us that appointed City Councilwoman Wendy Bredhold is not planning to run to keep her seat. We are also informed that appointed at large City Councilman Don Walker will seek to retain a seat on the City Council in Ward 3 where he lives. Both of these appointed members of the current Evansville City Council will be fighting an uphill battle due to the unpopular nature of their recent votes against the resolution to oppose spending the innkeeper’s tax money on the $18 Million Roberts Stadium ballfields project. Mole #3 tells us that Evansville City Clerk Alberta Matlock is considering a run for the Democratic nomination. We expect that Alberta will make a strong candidate if she runs and will succeed in winning the Democratic nomination. On the Republican side, a couple of the neighborhood leaders of the opposition to the Roberts Stadium ballfields project have been mentioned as potential Republican candidates. The opposition leaders most often mentioned are Sherman Stevens and Sylvia Neimeyer both of which have been well prepared, articulate, diligent, and vocal in their opposition to the project and for their passion for their neighborhood.

Ward 4: This ward belongs to long term City Councilwoman Connie Robinson. If Connie wants this seat it is hers to keep, if she is as has been rumored ready to take life a little easier, then it will be hers to designate. A lifetime of service has its privileges and Councilwoman Robinson has earned the respect of the people of the 4th Ward. The former leader of the Goosetown Homeowners Association Fred Cook has announced his intention to run and will make a great candidate if he chooses to do so.

Ward 5: Incumbent City Councilman John Friend has not only been the subject of speculation as a candidate for Mayor of Evansville, he is the target of both fellow Democrats in the primary and of at least one Republican in the general election. Susan Harp who lost by only 11 votes in the 2007 Republican primary and Sally Herron are poised to take each other on in the Republican primary, and unless the political climate changes will be the catalyst that retires Councilman Friend from his seat.

Ward 6: City Council President B. J. Watts has not announced his intentions yet, but Al Lindsey is reportedly chomping at the bit to challenge all comers for this seat. In the event that Councilman Watts decides against running it has been rumored that his father-in-law and Westside political dynasty member David Mosby will step in and challenge Lindsey. The City County Observer expects that Al Lindsey will dispense with either potential challengers in the primary and will meet only token opposition in the general election.

At-Large: Democratic but independent thinking City Councilman Dr. Dan Adams will be the leader of the pack of whatever group forms to seek the three at large seats on the Council. We also project that long time and hardworking City Councilman Curt John will decide not to seek re-election and will retire from public office with his Deanship of local politics and his reputation intact. As 2011, barring an economic miracle will be a repeat of 2010 in voter attitude, we are projecting that Republican Party Chairman Wayne Parke will take advantage of this and field some strong at large candidates. We are further projecting that these to be recruited candidates will capture at least one of the at-large seats.

Overall, we expect that 2011 will be a heated year in Evansville electoral politics. The general discontentment of 2010 will carry over and will lead to an Evansville City Council that will be balanced from a party perspective for the first time in over half a century.

The City County Observer projects that the makeup of the Evansville City Council that will be seated with a new Mayor on January 1, 2012 will be 5 to 4 either way. The party with the one vote majority will not matter at all because at least two projected winners are quite independent and deliberative in their thinking. On January 1, 2012 the time of the secure partisan voting bloc will end. That is a very positive projection for the people of Evansville.

In the race for City Clerk, Mole #69 tells us that Susan Kirk may just challenge Alberta Matlock for that position unless of course Matlock is fighting it out for a City Council seat.

Stay tuned next week for the City County Observers projections for the Mayor of Evansville race. IS IT TRUE that Rick Davis had a cast of about 35 volunteers brave the cold on his first door to door campaign on Saturday.


  1. CCO says, “he (John Friend) is the target of both fellow Democrats in the primary …”

    Which Democrats (yeah, plural, as CCO used the word) have targetted John Friend?

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