Indiana Democrats appear to be on a course to name a candidate for Evan Bayh’s Senate seat, given the high unlikelihood that another candidate could successfully file the necessary ballot petitions with the state this week in order to enter the primary. But, there is in fact at least one other candidate besides Bayh who was already seeking to get on the ballot.
So, how is Tamyra d’Ippolito, a cafe owner in Bloomington, doing with collecting the 500 petition signatures in each of the state’s nine House districts (a requirement that Bayh’s campaign had already fulfilled, according to Democratic sources and published media reports)? The deadline to complete the filing process is this week.
On a phone call just now, d’Ippolito told me that she is not yet at the goal: “We’re working feverishly here.”D’Ippolito said she is about 1,000 signatures short of the overall goal of 4,500, and is especially short in the 8th Congressional District, the area represented by Democrat Brad Ellsworth. Ideally she would like to get a few thousand more than the 4,500, in order to avoid missing out because of individual signatures getting disqualified over the errors that can pop up in this process.
“Just so you know, the Democratic heads in Indiana, there are 92 counties, they have been working against us all this time because they have been for the incumbent, Evan Bayh,” said d’Ippolito. “So we are calling on them now – it was only Evan Bayh running as the Democratic candidate – and asking them what will they do now. So this does not give us much time.”
I asked d’Ippolito whether she expected the party to work against her signature efforts, in order to preserve their ability to select a new candidate. “Well from what we’ve been dealing with so far from Evan Bayh, I would have to say yes, unfortunately,” said d’Ippolito. “Though they would have the choice – I’m a lifelong Democrat, to choose me as the candidate. I would be glad to do that. But they have been fighting me every step of the way.”
“So I have no idea what they will do, but they have not been cooperative so far,” d’Ippolito added. “It would be nice if they turned around and became cooperative, but I don’t know.”