Southern Indiana Mayoral Races Are Underway

by Devin Katayama on November 8, 2011

The Jeffersonville, Indiana mayoral race may be decided by what voters think of incumbent Tom Galligan’s $65 million canal plan.

The plan is partly a response to EPA requirements to fix sewer problems, but Galligan also expects the plan to increase business in the area.

Republican challenger Mike Moore says the plan is too expensive.

Thomas P. Wolf is a politics professor at Indiana University Southeast. He said he’s not sure how Galligan plans to fund the project, but he’s less sure how Moore plans to proceed if he’s elected.

“They’ve already invested some money, already bought some property. As long as they haven’t torn up streets or demolished houses I guess you can back out. You just sell the houses, which is not a very opportune thing in this housing market,” said Wolf.

Libertarian candidate Bob Isgrigg is also on the ticket. Wolf said he expects voter turnout to be low.

In New Albany, without the presence of a hot topic issue, a name may go a long way, said Wolf. Four candidates will be competing for the mayor’s seat being vacated by incumbent Doug England. But because there’s no single issue that’s been of debate it may come down to party voting, he said. Democratic candidate Jeff Gahan serves on the council and may have a head start, said Wolf.

“I would be surprised if Gahan didn’t win because there isn’t an issue and all things being equal this city is generally democratic with a capital D,” he said.

Wolf said independent Jack Messer’s candidacy throws a monkey wrench into the race. He doesn’t expect Messer to take votes away from Republican candidate Dale Bagshaw, but he says Democratic voter turnout needs to be strong enough to lead Gahan to victory.

Libertarian candidate and business owner Thomas Keister is also on the ticket.

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