Dems Choose Carson's Grandson For Special Election

Carson Pledges Grass-Roots Effort To Win Seat

Andre Carson, the grandson of late U.S. Rep. Julia Carson, was chosen Saturday as the Democratic nominee for a March special election to determine who will serve out the rest of her congressional term.

Carson won 223 of the 439 votes cast by Democratic precinct committee members for eight candidates seeking the nomination for the March 11 special election for the 7th District.

"We did it! Thank God, we did it!" he shouted after bounding onto the stage after the results were announced.

Carson got 100 more votes than the runner-up, State Rep. David Orentlicher.

Carson, a member of Marion County's City-County Council, said that if elected, his priorities will be to withdraw troops from Iraq as soon as possible and make people more important than big money. He called his victory a grass-roots triumph.

"The people spoke out. We went door to door. We called. We met with ward chairs and precinct committee people," Carson said. "That's what it's all about."

Julia Carson, a six-term Democrat, died Dec. 15 after a battle with lung cancer. She had represented the district, which covers most of Indianapolis, since 1997.

Orentlicher vowed that he will run again in May for the next full two-year term.

"We have two very different elections. This was about finishing the uncompleted term. And we, the next election will be about the future," Orentlicher said.

It was an emotional day for former Rep. Andy Jacobs, Jr., Julia Carson's mentor and one of Andre Carson's earliest supporters. He said her grandson will continue her legacy.

"He is the product of Julia Carson. She reared him, and she put an awful lot of nutrients in that little flower pot," Jacobs said.

Andre Carson will face the Republican Party's nominee and a Libertarian Party nominee who's also scheduled to be chosen Saturday to run in the March 11 special election

The three candidates will then compete in a special election on March 11, with the winner filling Carson's term through the rest of the year.

Republican precinct committee members will choose their nominee Sunday from among four Republicans. The most prominent of those are state Rep. Jon Elrod and Thomas Rose, who was an aide to former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith.

The three nominees for the special election also are expected to run in the May primary election to win the right to be on the November general election ballot to win a full two-year term in Congress.

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