The perennial political blowout known as Dyngus Day went on as scheduled today despite the fact that there are no elections this year.
It’s a holiday built on sausage and beer, yet some came specifically to test the waters.
“I’m looking at some things statewide, secretary of state is up in ’14,” said current Marion County Clerk Beth White who made her first-ever trip today to the West Side Civic and Democratic Club in South Bend. “I want to make sure that they're comfortable with a potential candidacy. I feel strongly that the leaders of our party might have some say in that, and that starts with our senator, who used to be your congressman (U.S. Sen. Joseph Donnelly) and then goes down from there.”
This Dyngus Day, Mr. Donnelly is no ‘ordinary Joe.’ As a U.S. Senator he is suddenly on top of the Indiana Democratic ticket at a time when potential candidates will tell you it’s later than you think.
“Unfortunately in modern day politics, it costs an extraordinary amount of money, to run and try to communicate your message,” said 2012 candidate for U.S. Congress, Brenan Mullen. “And thus you have to really run out in advance, and we ran for congress and it took us 18 months.”
In fact, this Dyngus Day looked a lot like last year’s version in terms of top of the ticket politicians. That could be an indication of plenty of political rematches to come. “You know, we almost won,” said 2012 Democratic candidate for Indiana Governor, John Gregg. “It was two points, even though we were outspent by $10 million so I wanted to come up and say thanks and you know, you always keep your options open for 2016.”
On the south side of South Bend, the St. Joseph County Republican Party held a celebration that was more patriotic than political.
“Well you know, this is an off year, there's no election this year,” said Executive Director Jake Teska. “We thought you know what better way to honor a very deserving charity, Miller's Vets, and give all our proceeds to them.”
Today proceeds went—not to candidates—but to a group that helps homeless veterans.
The ceremonies attracted Indiana Governor Mike Pence who took time out from his battle with Indiana lawmakers over a proposed cut in the state income tax.
“I’ve told people I’m going to be relentless and cheerful and persistent,” said Governor Pence. “I just simply believe that at a time when our state is running the largest surplus in our state’s history, part of the budget we produce ought to be the kind of permanent tax relief that allows Hoosiers to keep more of what they earn.”
Indiana lawmakers are scheduled to wrap up their 2013 session at the end of April. Members were in session today and noticeably absent from today’s Dyngus Day goings on.
Governor Pence attended Dyngus day in South Bend for the second year in a row saying “It’s about time people recognize that Dyngus Day belongs to everybody.”