At a recent rally, Democratic candidate for mayor Greg Fischer called Republican candidate Hal Heiner an extremist (skip to the two minute mark in the video). In a debate Monday (mp3 of the full debate), Fischer said Heiner has repeatedly been a voice of “No” on the Metro Council.
These statements mirror those of many Democrats running for (or defending) federal seats against Republicans. It’s not entirely unexpected to see them here. Heiner is, of course, a Republican, and Fischer seems keen to remind the Democrats who are supporting Heiner (a large amount according to polls, though still a minority) that they are supporting a GOP candidate. That may be working to a degree, but Heiner can counter with two Democratic endorsements: Shannon White and Tyler Allen. Addressing questions of his record, Heiner has repeatedly said he does support libraries and he will enforce the Fairness Ordinance.
We could also discuss the affect of other local contests. Metro Council and State Senate races in the south end might bring out Democrats and independents eager for change, or Republicans supporting incumbents. The 6th District race could push more Democrats to the polls.
Another note from the Monday debate–independent Jackie Green continues to press Heiner and Fischer on environmental and sustainability issues. Green has said he wants to bring new topics into the debate, and that goal is easier for him to accomplish when he’s given one-third of the speaking time at forums.