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Carson Clarifies Plans; She Won’t Seek Re-election

Ambitious Indianapolis-area politicians are preparing for a possible special election for the seat now held by Rep. Julia Carson (D-Ind.) after Carson announced Monday that she would not seek re-election. Two days earlier, she announced that she was terminally ill with lung cancer.

The 69-year-old Congresswoman made no mention of resigning before the end of her term, but political insiders in Indiana and in Washington, D.C., assume she will not be able to complete her term, necessitating a special election.

Carson’s Indianapolis-based district leans Democratic, but that has not prevented Republicans from targeting it in the past, and the GOP already has a candidate that party leaders are high on — state Rep. Jon Elrod (R), who declared his candidacy earlier this month.

Some Democrats have been mobilizing behind the scenes but are now likely to disclose their plans now that Carson has said she will not seek a seventh term.

Marion County Treasurer Michael Rodman (D) already has said he would run for the seat in 2008 if it is vacant, and state Rep. Carolene Mays (D) also is thought to be a likely contender. Outgoing Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson (D), whose upset loss earlier this month has fueled GOP interest in the Carson seat, also has been mentioned.

Carson has been grooming her grandson, City-County Councilman Andre Carson (D), to run for her seat. But after being appointed to the council earlier this year, he just won a full term in November, so it is unclear whether he would run for her seat at this time.

— Josh Kurtz