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    Mitchell Prevails on Third Ballot for Treasurer Nomination

    Kelly Mitchell works voters on the convention floor as they vote on the third and ultimately final ballot for the GOP state treasurer nomination

    Credit: John McGauley

    Hoosier delegates to the Republican State Convention may have received more than they bargained for. While some questioned whether delegates would stick around town for the free concert tonight, as time dragged on there was some question as to whether the concert would have to be postponed to accommodate the final round of balloting. In the end, State Treasurer’s office employee Kelly Mitchell pulled through on the third ballot and was nominated as the Republican candidate for State Treasurer.

    It was clear after the first ballot that Mitchell’s campaign had been more successful than many gave it credit for going into the convention. Defying expectations, she drew nearly even with presumed front-runner and Marion Mayor Wayne Seybold with financial planner Don Bates only slightly behind the two of them. However, momentum often has an impact in these types of elections and Mitchell ate into Seybold’s lead, scooping up delegates while he lost delegates and Bates sank further behind and was eliminated.

    Mitchell’s campaign, benefited from a strong and well-organized staff and two front-runners whose campaigns were so focused on each other they never really took her candidacy seriously. Late, high-profile endorsements from social conservatives in the tea party movement and what seemed to be waning enthusiasm for Bates’ campaign after what seemed to be a never-ending stream of questions about his background (proven or not), were effectively leveraged by her campaign team to deliver surprises to both front-runners and really laid the groundwork for her success.

    Momentum was on Mitchell’s side and there was a sense of inevitability about her pulling through among delegates supporting Bates and Seybold after just the first ballot. That said, the final results were not finalized until after 5 p.m. in Fort Wayne, a full seven hours after the Saturday session was scheduled to begin.

    The other matter on the agenda was a vote on the Republican platform, which proved to be little more than a distraction. Most of the support for changing the platform over language that related to marriage and social issues came from the slice of the convention delegate seating that included Lake and Marion Counties. It was abundantly obvious that there was little support for changing the platform among the delegates.

    A minor eruption took place after State Treasurer Richard Mourdock gave a fare-well speech of sorts to the delegates, indicating to them that he would no longer be running for political office. That wasn’t enough for some link bait journalists at the Indianapolis Star and some folks who are still bothered by his upset of Senator Richard Lugar who chose to interpret his comments as equating the state of affairs in the United States to that of Nazi Germany.

    Another note of thanks to all those who were able to help supply me with information from the floor since I was unable to make it to the convention today due to a family concern.

    This post was tagged under: Indiana Politics

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