By BRIAN A. HOWEY

INDIANAPOLIS – With the final House roll call Friday afternoon and Gov. Eric Holcomb’s ink drying on HEA1581 Monday, the “incumbent protection plan” maps for the next decade are set, unless Indiana Democrats sue and a court finds them illegal.

The Indiana Senate finalized congressional and General Assembly maps Friday for the next decade, voting 36-12 to approve them, with retiring Republican Sen. Ron Grooms joining the 11 Democrats. The House concurred, voting 64-25 to pass the maps with minor tweaks passed earlier this week, with State Rep. Jeff Ellington opposing the House maps that create a rare competitive district in his HD62.

What is in store for Indiana with these maps is good news for most House, Senate and congressional incumbents. They will be bad for political consultants, polling firms, dying newspapers and flagging local TV affiliates who used to be able to count on revenue from advertisements. In the case of the nine congressional districts over the past decade, the real upset with these new maps is if an incumbent loses. Only one district – the 2nd CD in 2012 – changed hands with the 2011 maps. It will take a scandal or a huge national tsunami to dislodge a congressman or woman between now and 2030.

Indiana Democrats will find it hard to gain any traction out of their 7-2 congressional hole, or the super minority status they find in the Indiana General Assembly.

In signing the maps, Holcomb said, “Today I signed HB1581, completing this once-in-a-decade constitutionally required process. I want to thank both the House and Senate for faithfully following through in an orderly and transparent way. And, a special thanks to every Hoosier who participated in the process by sharing their local perspective and input.”

While Bill Moreau of The Indiana Citizen tried this reasoning – just because you can doesn’t mean you should – the Republican super majorities passed maps that will make it hard for Democrats to chip away at the GOP’s 7-2 dominance in congressional seats, along with its 71-29 and 39-11 super majorities in the Indiana House and Senate. 

The Indiana Citizen was formed in November 2019, designed improve lagging civic engagement and low voter turnout and that included redistricting reform, coming after the window closed for a needed constitutional amendment to create an independent redistricting commission. While former Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma had sponsored legislation to do just that, the GOP’s Senate majority remained a roadblock.

Thus, we are where we are today, which is lopsided maps favoring Hoosier Republicans for the next decade. The GOP’s call for “compactness” and maintaining “communities of interest” were cited by the map drawers as their achievement this year, but Democrats pointed to Fort Wayne being split into four Senate districts, and other splits in Evansville and Lafayette/West Lafayette that the real intent was to maintain overwhelming majorities.

State Sen. Eric Koch, R-Bedford, made this clear on last week when he said, “We were striving to follow legal requirements. Compactness and communities of interests were goals. Competitiveness is not a legal requirement.”

The Indiana House map increases the number of counties that are wholly contained within one House district from 26 to 32. There are 22 fewer township splits where a single township is represented by multiple House districts. The House map includes a less than 1% deviation from the ideal population of 67,855 for each district. The Senate map increases the number of whole counties contained in one Senate district from 49 to 65, keeps 96% of all townships whole and keeps 92% of all cities and towns whole.

The Congressional map keeps 84 of Indiana’s 92 counties whole, and includes a near equal deviation, one or fewer persons, from the ideal population of 753,948.

“We have said all along that we were committed to drawing fair maps in a transparent way, and I believe we have done that,” Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray said. “We prioritized keeping communities of interest together and drawing districts that make sense for the Hoosiers who live there, while maintaining nearly equal populations in each district. I believe these maps reflect feedback from the public and will serve Hoosiers well for the next decade.”

“Redistricting is a complex and important process that impacts all Hoosiers,” Speaker Todd Huston said. We’re thankful for the hundreds of constituents who shared their feedback along the way, and I’m confident we delivered fair maps that ensure every Hoosier vote counts.”

George Washington University political scientist Christopher Warshaw said Indiana Republicans typically win about 60% of the vote statewide but will likely win between 70 and 80% of the seats in the new maps (Smith, Indiana Public Media). That skew, Warshaw argued, makes them some of the most biased redistricting plans anywhere in the country in the last half century. Princeton University’s Gerrymandering Project analyzed that out of 159 districts across the three plans, just 11 will be competitive.

Speaking in New Albany last Friday, Indiana Democratic Chairman Mike Schmuhl said, “When one political party controls all levels of government, Indiana loses, Hoosiers lose, and we all lose. I think the last decade provided a hard-learned example on why fair and balanced legislative maps really matter for all Hoosiers across this state.”

Said Democratic New Albany City Councilman Jason Applegate, “Republicans are quite happy that Indiana’s legislative and congressional maps are 95% more biased than the rest of the country.”

\But Indiana Republican Chairman Kyle Hupfer said the Democrat reaction was predictable.  “I think this is a talking point the opposition party uses every 10 years,  when this rolls around in Indiana,” said Hupfer. “We are a Republican state. There is no way to draw maps that would give Democrats a majority of seats in the state.”

With the maps finalized, HPI takes a look at what could be in store over the next four years, from the 2024 presidential election, to 2022 and 2024 cycle races up and down the ballot:

Presidential 2024

Conventional wisdom is that Donald Trump will win his third Republican presidential nomination. This depends on the obese former president’s health and legal status, with talking legal TV heads continuing to paint dire pictures of potential future indictments from the Southern District of New York related to the Trump Organization and the DA in Atlanta probing election violations (“Find me 11,800 votes!”). Indictments and incarcerations didn’t keep Hoosier Socialist Eugene Debs from running while behind bars in 1920, nor did it prevent Lyndon LaRouche in 1992 or Keith Judd in 2012 from seeking the presidency.

Nor does Trump’s elections track record seem to have tamed the fever. He’s the first president since Herbert Hoover to lose the House and Senate majorities, as well as the White House. Republicans have had numerous off-ramps from Trumpism through two impeachments, as well as an epic mishandling and politicization of the pandemic and his 2020 election loss, and have stayed with the Mar-A-Lago billionaire. Former aides to President Trump continue to paint portraits of a clown car White House where every day there was a fire, with former press secretary Stephanie Grisham saying that a second Trump term would be based on “revenge.” The Woodward/Costa book “Peril” portrays Trump in the final days of his presidency as a mentally ill wannabe authoritarian.

We don’t know what the House Select Jan. 6 Committee will dig up on Trump’s role in the U.S. Capitol insurrection, but we’re not holding our breath that the GOP will turn away from Trump, even though it’s pretty clear he attempted an unprecedented coup d’etat to negate the 2020 election, which he lost by 7 million votes.

Hoosier Republicans could consolidate behind favorite son Mike Pence, who is running for 2024. He’s even angling for another Trump/Pence ticket, saying the Jan. 6 insurrection is a “distraction” intended to “demean” millions of Trump supporters. So much for the rule of law and the aspect of free and fair elections continuing to be the cornerstone of American democracy. But Pence’s crowds in Indiana have paled in comparison to Trump’s, and we’re not sure the former Indiana governor could win a primary against Trump in his homestate. We just hope Pence hires competent personal security.

Meanwhile at this early stage of his first term, President Biden looks old and vulnerable. Gone are the “we rely on the science” in dealing with the pandemic as he stepped over the CDC on masking and boosters. His Afghan pullout, while widely supported in the polls, was a chaotic mess and Biden was contradicted by his generals last week in Congress. Only 45.1% of Americans approve of his performance per Monday’s RealClearPolitics average; 47.9% disapprove. According to the Washington Post, that alone makes Biden less popular at this stage of his presidency than any president in the past 40 years ... except for Donald Trump. Among independents, however, Biden is about as unpopular as Trump was at this stage in his presidency; 39% approve, while 52% disapprove.

It’s far too early to write a second Biden term off, and we continue to watch U.S. Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg make Washington his own city, perhaps leading up to a 2024 campaign if it becomes obvious that Biden is too old, frail and incompetent to seek reelection.
 
Governor 2024

Could this be a rematch of the 2018 U.S. Senate race between Republican Mike Braun and Democrat Joe Donnelly? The former refuses to douse speculation that he will attempt to spend the end of his political career on the Statehouse Second Floor, while Donnelly has criscrossed the state this year pushing the Biden agenda while helping former aide Mike Schmuhl attempt to rebuild the Democratic Party. Donnelly looks like a gubernatorial contender in the making.

While the GOP field for this open seat is expected to be crowded, Braun sticks out because he could write a $10 million check to win a GOP primary. In 2018, he wrote an early $5 million check to edge out Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer to win the Senate primary. Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch (“It’s time for a woman”) and Attorney General Rokita are other expected entrants, though don’t be surprised if Rokita opts for what would be an open Senate seat if Braun comes back home. Other potential hopefuls include GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer, Senate President Rodric Bray, U.S. Reps. Jim Banks and Trey Hollingsworth (another self-funder), former IEDC chief Eric Doden and former state senator Jim Merritt. But none of them could write a $10 million check while maintaining a legacy of winning statewide, which would be a game-changer.

Other potential Democrats include State Sen. Eddie Melton and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. Both will find it difficult to find statewide traction. There has never been a governor from Gary and Melton will find the tiny super minority Senate caucus a mighty slim ledge to thrust toward a statewide run. While Hogsett is repaving Indy’s once-decrepit streets, the record homicide rates won’t play well out-state, even though the two-term mayor has been the antithesis of a “defund the police” Democrat.

U.S. Senate 2024

Gov. Eric Holcomb received high marks for his handling of the first year of the pandemic. But since his “light at the end of the tunnel” speech in late March, he is acting like a politician with his sights on D.C. That the General Assembly clipped his authority to deal with the pandemic, Holcomb seems OK with passing the ensuing chaos and hot potato on to county commissioners and local school boards, which now face a new era of politicization (watch for legislation in 2022 making party designations for those running for school boards).

His legal battles with Rokita now appear to be legal proxy fights for this Senate seat. Both Holcomb and Rokita have sought Senate seats (Holcomb was running third to Todd Young and Marlin Stutzman in 2016; Rokita finished second to Braun in 2018). While most have seen Rokita as a gubernatorial hopeful, he’s been there/done that with Braun’s check-writing ability, and will see a more level playing field in this Senate race.

Holcomb was seen during the first year of the pandemic as ultra-transparent. But since it became clear that the Trump era politicized not only the COVID-19 vaccine, but now even MMR vaccine required mandated for school kids, Holcomb hasn’t spent any of what was thought to be his vast political capital to barnstorm the state and record PSAs urging his supporters to vax up. This contributes to a widely heard notion in many GOP circles: That Holcomb’s support is broad, but shallow.

The wild card could be Rep. Hollingsworth, who is apparently self-term limited in the 9th CD with a due date of 2024. He could write a $5 million check and move up to the Senate neighborhood, just like he did when he won his congressional seat as an unknown out-stater from Tennessee.

2022 U.S. Senate race

U.S. Sen. Todd Young enters his first reelection with at least a $5 million lead in what could be a $200 million race, and no credible primary challenger (unknown Daniel Niederberger has filed for the GOP primary with the FEC). The only thing missing is Donald Trump’s annointment. Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. is the leading contender in a Democratic field that includes Haneefah Khaaliq of Gary and Dr. Valerie McCray of Indianapolis.

McDermott knows he enters the race as a distinct underdog. The five-term mayor and former Lake County Democrat chairman will need a national wave to overcome the undefeated Young, which would be a rarity for the White House party in its first mid-term.

2022 Secretary of State

Appointed Sec. of State Holli Sullivan faces Diego Morales in the June GOP convention (and possibly others) and she will be a heavy, heavy favorite. What could make this race intriguing is whether Birch Evans (Beau) Bayh IV will emerge to seek the office that ignited his father’s political career in 1986. Evan Bayh was introducing his son at French Lick and other Democratic circles this summer. Born on Nov. 9, 1995, Beau Bayh wouldn’t be eligible to run for governor until 2028. Beau Bayh’s legacy problem is that his family name has appeared only once on a ballot since 2004, which occurred when his father stepped up in July 2016 to regain his old Senate seat, and was defeated by Sen. Young by 10%.

2022 Indiana Treasurer

Four Republicans – Morgan County Republican Chairman Daniel Elliott, Fort Wayne Clerk Lana Keesling, Suzie Jaworowski, and Pete Seat – are seeking this convention nomination. Jaworowski was endorsed by former Texas Gov. Rick Perry this past week. Seat has been endorsed by 15 county chairs. Three former state chairs – Al Hubbard, Jim Kittle and Mike McDaniel – are cochairing a fundraiser Oct. 13 at Meridian Hills CC for Seat.

2022 Congress

The new maps appear to set Indiana up for a second consecutive decade where no incumbent loses an election. According to FiveThirtyEight, the old maps had a R+10 median seat, the difference between the partisan lean of the state’s median district and the state as a whole. The old maps had it at R+7.4. It rates none of the state’s nine districts as competititve. On the “efficiency gap (difference between each party’s share of wasted votes – those that don’t contribute to a candidate winning) the old maps were R+13.3 and the new maps R+12.3.

Here is HPI’s district by district breakdown:

1st CD: This is the one nominally competitive district coming in at D+7 by FiveThirtyEight (which is outside the normal 5% competitiveness threshold). The 2020 Cook Partisan Index had this as a D+8 district. Freshman U.S. Rep. Frank J. Mrvan looks nominally safe, but in a wave year and with the right candidate, he could be endangered. Jennifer-Ruth Green and Tom Madden are seeking the Republican nomination.

2nd CD: The Cook Partisan Index rated the 2020 2nd as a R+11 district (Trump defeated Clinton 58.9% t0 35.9% in 2016). FiveThirtyEight puts it a R+26 with the new maps. Nick Roberts had Trump winning the old version with 59% and the new district with 60%. U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski entered this seat in 2012 after narrowly losing to Joe Donnelly in 2010. It appears out of reach for Democrats now.

3rd CD: FiveThirtyEight rates U.S. Rep. Jim Banks’ new district at R+34. According to the 2020 Cook Partisan Index, the old district was R+18, with Trump defeating Clinton 64.7% to 29.9%. According to Roberts, the old 3rd and new 3rd were carried by Trump 64-34%. Democrat candidates for 2022 include John Stephens and Forrest Bower.

4th CD: FiveThirtyEight has the new 4th represented by Rep. Jim Baird at R+33, compared to R+17 in the 2020 Cook Partisan Index. Trump defeated Clinton 63.9% to 30% in 2016. According to Roberts, Trump carried the old and new 4th 64-34%.

5th CD: Republicans shored up this formerly “purple” district that had been R+9 in the 2020 Cook Partisan Index. FiveThirtyEight has the new district at R+22 as the more Democratic northern part of Indianapolis was shunted off to the new very blue 7th CD. Trump defeated Clinton in 2016 52.6 to 40%. According to Roberts, in 2020 Trump defeated Biden 50-48% while Trump carries the new 5th CD 57-41%. Rep. Victoria Spartz defeated Democrat Christina Hale by 4% in 2020. Hale is now in the 7th CD. Former legislator Melanie Wright told the Anderson Herald Bulletin she would challenge Spartz. “Just because people look at it and think that it might not be doable, I can’t let that stop me from getting a moderate message out there,” Wright said. “I’m a moderate person. I feel like that message needs to get out there, and that’s important to me.”

6th CD: FiveThirtyEight has the new district at R+37 while the Cook Partisan Index had the old 6th at R+18, with Trump defeating Clinton 67.5% to 27.3%. Roberts data has Trump winning the old 6th by a 69-29% margin, and 65% to 33% in the new. U.S. Rep. Greg Pence won’t have to break a sweat, attend a debate or a town hall to keep his grip on this new district that shifts north. Erik Benson has filed with the FEC for the 2022 Republican ballot and Barton Teeters has filed for Democrats.

7th CD: If you want to know how the seven Republican CDs have become even more uncompetitive, look no further than U.S. Rep. André Carson’s new 7th CD, which is now D+37, according to FiveThirtyEight. It was D+11 in the 2020 Cook Partisan Index, with Clinton carrying it 58.2% to Trump’s 35.7% in 2016. Roberts data had Biden winning the old version with 63% and tne new district with 70%. President Obama carried the district with 62.9% in 2012. Rusty Johnson is seeking the Republican nomination.

8th CD: FiveThirtyEight rates the formerly bloody 8th at R+36, meaning U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon will be able to retire later this decade undefeated. It had been R+15 in the 2020 Cook Partisan Index, with Trump defeating Clinton 64.4% to 30.8% that year. Roberts has Trump carrying the new 8th with 66%, compared to 65% in the old district. Gabriel Whitley is seeking the GOP nomination and a Democrat challenger has yet to surface.

9th CD: According to FiveThirtyEight, the 9th is now a R+30 district, compared to R+13 in the 2020 Cook Partisan Index. Trump defeated Clinton 60.8% to 34% in 2020 and Roberts has Trump carrying the new 9th CD with 63%. Democrats lining up include Jonathon Cole, D. Liam Dorris, Matthew Fyfe and Babak Rezaei along with Hiren Patel for the Republicans.

Indiana Senate

Four races capture our attention at the onset.

SD2: State Sen. Lonnie Randolph now shares this district with Sen. Frank Mrvan, who had represented SD1. The district is slightly less Democratic, with Biden carrying the old version with 72% and polled 67% in the new district. Sen. Mrvan is 88 years old (Sen. Randolph is 72) and there is wide speculation that he will retire rather than run in a primary.

SD4: State Sen. Karen Tallian abruptly resigned creating what should be a Democrat-leaning open seat. “After 16 years I’ve had enough,” Tallian said. “I’m at a point in my life where I want to use my remaining energy to produce more immediate results. It is an extremely difficult job to be a Democrat in the Indiana Senate, and over the last 16 years it has become increasingly difficult. The composition of the Senate majority moved further right and it became increasingly more difficult to work.”

SD25: This is Sen. Tim Lanane’s third reapportionment and his district has shifted three times. But this time he has been drawn into a district with freshman Republican Mike Gaskill. The addition of two Republican Hamilton County townships poses the biggest challenge of Lanane’s career. Gaskill told the Herald Bulletin that he will be a candidate in 2022, while Lanane said he is taking a hard look at the new proposed district. “This is the third time my district has changed,” Lanane said, referring to redistricting processes in 2001 and 2011. “I was not surprised. There have been substantial changes in the past. I think it’s more favorable for the Republicans. It is areas I’m familiar with. A Democrat can win but it will require a lot of work.”

SD47: State Sen. Eric Houchin had endorsed Floyd County businessman Kevin Boehnlein for the open SD46 until the new maps moved it north to Indianapolis where it is now distinctly Democrat. Now the two and Floyd County Commissioner Shaw Carruthers appear to be on a primary collision course in SD47. Houchin released a WPA Poll that showed her leading with 55%, compared to 9% for Boehnlein and 7% for Carruthers. She leads is Floyd County with 19% while 55% of voters there are undecied. Houchin announced she would seek reelection, saying, “While I will miss representing my friends in Crawford, Dubois, Orange, and Perry counties when my current term comes to an end, I know they will be in good hands with their new Senate representation, and will always be here if I may be of assistance. I am blessed with many friends and family members in Floyd County and look forward to meeting and serving more if given the opportunity to represent them in the State Senate.” Boehnlein told the News & Tribune he is running “full-steam ahead” while Carruthers said he is weighing his options. Sens. Mark Messmer, Travis Holdman and Jon Ford holding a reception for Houchin on Nov. 4.

Indiana House

According to the Associated Press, six Indiana House districts without incumbents going into 2022 elections are HD25: Northwestern Indianapolis suburbs, with parts of Boone and Hendricks counties; HD32 on Indianapolis north side, along with parts of Carmel and Fishers; HD41 in parts of Boone, Clinton, Montgomery and Tippecanoe counties; HD57 in Southwestern Indianapolis suburbs, with parts of Hendricks, Morgan and Johnson counties; and HD82: Mostly the northern half of Fort Wayne.

Here are the districts we’re initially watching:
 
HD22: State Rep. Curt Nisly has been drawn into this with freshman Republican Craig Snow (HD18). Nisly has vowed to battle for the seat. Nisly defeated moderate incumbent Rep. Rebecca Kubacki in 2014, and has since been known for seeking complete abortion bans. He does not regularly caucus with the House GOP caucus. Snow won his seat after receiving endorsements from the GOP mayors of Warsaw and Wabash and has been a mostly under-the-radar freshman.

HD16: State Reps. Don Lehe (HD25) and Doug Gutwein were both drawn into this district, and both announced last week they are retiring, setting up an open district.

HD32: This is a new open seat based in Indianapolis. Democrat Joe Biden carried the district 52-46% over Donald Trump in the presidential race.

HD36: Republican Kyle Pierce will seek a rematch against State Rep. Terri Jo Austin. In 2020, Austin defeated Pierce 53-47%, or by around 1,500 votes. Pierce describes himself as “a pragmatic, conservative Hoosier focused on protecting individual liberties, championing higher-paying jobs, empowering families to have a choice in their children’s education, and promoting government transparency.” “Hoosiers in House District 36 deserve a state representative who will work every day to protect our rights, protect local jobs, focus on attracting high paying industries, and fight to cut unneeded government bureaucracy,” Pierce said in a statement released Sunday. Pierce serves as the secretary of the Madison County Republican Party and is a Republican precinct committeeman.

HD47: State Reps. Sean Eberhart of Shelbyville and Rep. John Young of Franklin are both in the new district.
 
HD55: State Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) announced she will retire in 2022 after fulfilling her current term. “These almost 10 years of service have been a privilege, and I thank my constituents for that honor,” Ziemke said. “During my time at the Statehouse, I’ve worked hard to increase awareness for mental health and addiction, and the need to lift up the thousands of Indiana families dealing with these issues. Knowing that Hoosiers have more resources available to lead full, healthy lives has made my work worthwhile.” Ziemke said she is retiring to fulfill her commitment of serving her district for no more than 10 years.

HD62: Republican State Rep. Jeff Ellington represents this revamped Bloomington-area district and it is expected to be competitive. Presidential candidate Joe Biden carried this new district by less than 1%. Ellington voted against the new maps last week.

HD73: State Rep. Steve Davisson died at age 62 after a long battle with cancer just prior to the passage of the maps, and his son, J. Michael Davisson, is preparing to win a caucus later this month. That would set him up for a primary with controversial State Rep. Jim Lucas, who carried HD69 with 67% of the vote on 2020. Steve Davisson was unopposed in HD73, winning 23,000 votes. A Republican Party caucus is scheduled for Oct. 21. HD73 currently includes all of Washington County, as well as parts of Jackson, Orange, Lawrence, Clark and Harrison counties. The new district to include the eastern half of Bartholomew County – including Flat Rock, Haw Creek, Clay, Clifty, Rock Creek and Sand Creek Townships – as well as portions of Decatur, Jennings and Shelby counties. According to the Columbus Republic, House candidates must have resided in the districts they are seeking to represent for at least one year prior to the general election, according to the Indiana Election Division’s most recent candidate guide, which cited the Indiana Code. To run in HD73, J. Michael Davisson would likely have roughly a month to be residing in eastern Bartholomew County or certain areas of Decatur, Shelby or Jennings counties to run for reelection next year in House District 73. He is raising his two children after having lost his wife to cancer earlier this year. A highly decorated and disabled Army combat veteran of both Afghanistan and Iraq, J. Michael Davisson retired as a sergeant first class after 17 years of military service. Already a partner with his father in family-owned Good Living Pharmacy, the younger Davisson has assumed full-time responsibility for business operations. “For 11 years, I watched my father work tirelessly to serve the people of his district and to improve the lives of all Hoosiers,” J. Michael Davisson said of his father. “I would be honored to have the privilege of carrying on his work.”

HD82: This new Fort Wayne district is open and leans blue, which could be a pickup for Democrats, according to the Journal Gazette’s Kelly. The last time two Democrats represented Allen County in the Indiana House was 2012. Allen County Republican Chairman Steve Shine expects several Republicans to be interested in that district and noted the GOP has always been competitive even in more Democratic-leaning districts.

HD93: There were initial reports that freshman Rep. John Jacob had been drawn into a district with Democrat State Rep. Justin Moed. Jacob, however, remains in HD97, with the new map swapping the Johnson County portion of the district for Beech Grove in Marion County, which had been the base of support for former State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer, who lost a HD89 race to Democrat Mitch Gore 51-48% in 2020. Kirchhofer told the IBJ she is weighing a bid while saying she did not collaborate with caucus leadership on the creation of the new district. Rep. Jacob upset appointed State Rep. Dollyne Sherman in the 2020 GOP primary.

Mayors

Dakich eyes Indy race

Former IU basketball player and coach Dan Dakich recently parted ways with ESPN. It wasn’t his radio or television gigs that opened Dakich’s eyes to yet another potential job opportunity, making Door Dash runs every week and eying the 2023 mayoral race. “I’ve been around the neighborhoods here in Indy and I really want to help guys, gals and families that don’t have much,” Dakich told The Daily Hoosier. “I really want to help the African-American community. We have a terrible murder problem here. We have a terrible leadership problem here.”