Ken de la Bastide: Ken de la Bastide column: Interesting week of political developments in Madison County

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Feb. 10—The political landscape for the Republican Party nomination for the 5th Congressional District took an interesting turn this past week.

That landscape is also undergoing changes in Madison County.

Last year, two-term incumbent Victoria Spartz announced she would not be running for re-election.

Spartz on Monday did an about-face and announced she was running for a third term.

There might have been some indications of Spartz's plans in that she has been conducting town hall meetings in the district during the past two weeks.

Spartz is one of 11 candidates on the primary ballot which includes two Madison County residents: Jonathan Brown and Larry Savage Jr.

But the reality is that there are probably only three candidates who have a legitimate shot at winning the nomination.

State Rep. Chuck Goodrich has already committed $1 million to the race.

Former D.C staffer Max Engling has to be included on the short list of candidates with a realistic chance at the nomination.

Spartz has the advantage of being the incumbent, name recognition in the district and can match Goodrich dollar for dollar when it comes to raising funds.

The majority of the candidates are residents of Hamilton County, with Madison and Delaware counties the next two biggest areas in the district.

Supposing that the Hamilton County candidates divide up the vote there, the nominee could be determined by voters in Madison and Delaware counties.

Engling has the support of Madison County chairman Russ Willis. So far, Goodrich, who is busy at the Indiana Statehouse, has not made an appearance in Madison County.

Spartz will be difficult to defeat in the primary, but the campaign activity is sure to increase between now and May 7.

There will also be a change in the makeup of the Madison County Council.

Incumbents Anthony Emery and Ben Gale have not filed for re-election.

Along with incumbent Mikeal Vaughn, there are eight other candidates seeking three at-large nominations in the Republican Party.

That list includes former state senator and party chairman James Abraham and Carl Abel, whose wife, Angie, is the Madison County recorder.

Four Democrats have filed for at-large nominations, including former Anderson City Council member Rebecca Crumes.

Former county councilman Fred Reese Jr. is running for a nomination.

The primary election locally will provide many twists and turns.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.