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  • Marion County City-County Councilman Ed Coleman Switching Parties From GOP to Libertarian


    *Update* According to a source at tonight’s Decatur Township GOP meeting, Republican Council President Bob Cockrum announced that Ed Coleman has left the GOP, his committee assignments have been stripped and that this is the first time a Third Party has had a seat at the Council.

    After rumors swirled on Hoosiers for Fair Taxation (though the post was pulled) and Advance Indiana, sources confirm to me that Marion County City-County Councilman Ed Coleman is switching parties from Republican to Libertarian.

    Coleman, who was first elected as an At-Large candidate in the Republican take over of the Council and Mayor’s office in 2007, has come under fire from the fellow Republican Councilmen and the County party for bucking party line on votes as well as voting against the Mayor on issues he deemed too intrusive for government…even local government.  Coleman, who apparently has been mulling a switch for quite some time, was originally targeted by Democrats as a potential new party member, but conservative political convictions kept him from such a switch.

    Sources also indicate that after some party bucking votes, Coleman would receive nasty text messages from people such as former State Rep. Jon Elrod, fellow Councilman Ryan Vaughn and Marion County GOP Chairman Tom John.

    (*Update #2* I have been informed via a confidant of Ed Coleman’s that Jon Elrod did not send him any nasty text messages.)

    (*Update #3* Councilor Ryan Vaughn called me and categorically denied sending any nasty text messages to Ed Coleman regarding any votes that may have bucked the party)

    Now I’m sure the howling from GOP faithful will begin fairly soon.  But keep one thing in mind here.  The Republicans will still control the Council.  Coleman will still likely vote more with them than with Democrats.  But he will surely be castigated for his move.  The question is, should he be?

    Coleman’s move is not uncharacteristic while serving as an elected official.  It’s not even uncharateristic for this decade. Some will probably make the notion that he should step down.  Did Jim Jeffords?  (I will admit, at the time, I was one of those who said he should) Did New York city Mayor, Michael Bloomberg after he switched mid-term from being a Republican to an Independent?  One of the more well known party switcheroos came from Texas Senator Phil Graham in the 1980’s.  He switched from Democrat to Republican, stepped down and ran for his seat again.  He was so popular in Texas he won re-election.

    Ed Coleman, the Libertarian Party of Indiana and the Marion County Libertarians will be holding a press conference tomorrow at the Columbia Club at 10:30am to discuss in more detail as to why he is making his switch.  Your faithful Hoosier Access correspondent will be there to cover all of the action.

    This post was tagged under: Ed Coleman, Indiana Politics, Indianapolis, Libertarian Party, Local Politics

    11 responses to “Marion County City-County Councilman Ed Coleman Switching Parties From GOP to Libertarian”

    1. Diana says:

      I can't say as I blame him. He was elected to represent the interests of the voters, not to be the political puppet of Tom John or anyone else. It's time for the Republican leadership to wake up to the reality that they are the servants of the people, not their masters.

    2. Republican Taxpayer says:

      I voted for Mr. Coleman because he was a Republican. Not because he was a Libertarian. I will not make that mistake again.

    3. Have to say I don't know the inside stuff, what's so anti-libertarian about the current administration that he would find his libertarian principles to outweigh his Republican ones?

    4. cspangle says:


      Good to see you are voting for a team, and not a person and their principles…

    5. Dalton,

      I'm pretty sure that the current's administration position of casting aside the interest of taxpayers to give more money to corporations is not holding true to Republican or Libertarian principles. Maybe instead of castigating Ed Coleman we should look at the state of the adminstration and its tactics that would result in driving away a critical vote on the council.

    6. Michael Jezierski says:

      I seem to recall some years ago (mid 90's?) a State Rep jump from R to D and I believe that caused a shift in majority, or it caused a 50-50 tie and at that time it was during Bayh's or O'Bannon's term as Governor IIRC.

      In this case ties are impossible and we still hold the CCC. Councilor Malone is now the margin, and she's voted with the opposition on several occasions so it's all up in the air.

    7. Melyssa says:

      I have heard, although I'm no expert, that a member of the minority party has privilege to sit on all council committees. If this is rule, then would not Ed automatically be on all committees in spite of being temporarily removed by the majority party?

    8. Jacob Perry says:

      Ed is a friend and someone I respect. He's is also a fool, and it pains me to say that.

      I knew about this nearly two weeks ago and suspected it was Ed, but I was lied to. I'm wondering if I was lied to by a close friend, what lies were told to Ed?

      There are more details about this over at CCP.

    9. Jacob Perry says:

      Besides, all these LP wannabes that are going around laughing about it, I can tell you for an absolute fact that the Marion Cty GOP knew about this the weekend of the 6th adn specifically knew Ed was leaving. This wasn't a big secret.

      Plus, they were already planning on a primary challenge to Ed.

    10. Abdul says:


      The Council rules say committees must consist of at least three members appointed by the Committee on Committees. And Committees must have at least one minority member.

      There's nothing in the rules that say Ed must have a committee assignment since Democrats would be the minority members. And from the signals I've been picking up this morning, I don't think he will be staying on Rules or Economic Development for very long.

      I respect Ed's right to make a choice and do what he thinks is best, but like with all the choices we make, there are consequences we have to live with regardless of our reasons.

    11. Steve Jacobs says:

      Thanks, Republican Taxpayer, for exposing yourself as the problem. When you vote for party rather than a person or a principle, you are admitting that you are, in fact, a sheep. Personally, I'm glad that we had someone in local government with the stones to do this. He's killing himself politically as the LP has proven itself futile over the years, but he probably did the right thing.

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