Republican looks past election
By Ron Wynn
By pretty much all yardsticks, Republican candidate Jocelyn-Tandy Adande did well in the recent Indianapolis Republican Party primary election. She finished second to the winner Chuck Brewer, who had the full support of the party and even received fiscal assistance from the current outgoing mayor Greg Ballard.
Adande got nearly 10 percent (9.6) of the vote with 1,783 votes, though Brewer's 14,160 (76.26) put him well ahead of the field. But Adande was far from defeated, though she did not have kind words for the media in particular after the election.
"They (the media) did what they set out to do in terms of depressing the vote and especially keeping the voter totals low in the Black community," she said during another recent interview. "They spent all their time talking about other issues and talking about the Presidential campaign and that's not even coming up for another couple of years."
"They didn't give this election the attention it deserves. Then they wonder why the turnout is so low. Indiana had the worse turnout of any state in the nation last election, and this time we had less than 10 percent turnout. The media isn't doing its job and it's not really giving the electorate the information it needs nor encouraging participation. Neither are elected officials."
"You know all my time in politics it's always been like a double-edged sword. I've never gotten the respect I should from the media because I'm outspoken, a smart Black woman, and I know policy and procedures. A lot of people in both parties have a big problem with women who aren't afraid of expressing themselves, and they're even less happy when it's a Black woman. Then some of these Democratic types are full of rhetoric, but they aren't doing anything for the community. They like to talk about their Civil Rights record, but that doesn't cut any ice with me. No one can out Civil Rights me. I've been working for Civil Rights all my life too and I know about real discrimination and real voter fraud, not this stuff that they like to complain about."
But Adande has no intentions of dropping out of sight. In fact she's planning now to make changing the way that candidates are elected in the primary a major objective. "I'm going to press now for a meeting with the Speaker of the House as soon as possible about getting on the agenda a plan to change the primary process to an open one," she continued. "This whole thing of pushing for a closed primary is really hurting people and not providing the kind of access and competition we need to progress forward as a state."
"Right now all these people are doing is continuing to urge people to just vote for a straight ticket. That's not helping anyone. We need to consider the character of people who are running for office. What are their plans for really doing something about the problems we face as a society. When I was running and talking to people, everyone wanted to know about what I thought on the issues. But these Democratic politicians are only interested in telling Blacks to always vote the straight Democratic ticket. I think the time has come for that to change and that's one of the things that I['m really going to be fighting for."
"Voter education is another issue that I'm very passionate about," she continued. "So many people don't know the history regarding these candidates. They come and go, they tell you anything about their background, and the media doesn't do its job in terms of really researching and telling folks about their background, finding out what they've done and where they've been before they began running."
"One thing about me is that I've always emphasized transparency. You look at my track record, my resume, and you see someone who've been out there fighting on behalf of the community all my adult life. I know politics thoroughly, I've seen it from both sides, and I know what these politicians are and aren't doing."
"But I'm also very much a community person, and that's what I'm going to turn my attention back towards now," she continued. "I'm going to be working very actively in my church, they've got a major anniversary coming up, and there are also some neighborhood things that I'm involved with, so I now have some time to devote to those things. But I am determined also to see that this primary system gets changed, so that the people can really start looking at candidates rather than a ticket."
In response to a question about whether she would consider another mayoral run in four years Adande laughed, then said, "Well, I'm getting up there in age and I've been around a long time. Who knows what may happen four years from now. I'm certainly not going to say I wouldn't consider another run, but I can't really say much about something that far in the future. But I do know that I'm going to remain active and involved in this community, and I'm going to continue being an advocate for the people."