While I concur with what Tim said, I generally disagree with Anthony’s take on today’s news that ODP may endorse Franklin County Clerk of Courts Maryellen O?Shaughnessy has anything to do with Sharen Neuhardt.  I’m not hearing that from anyone at all, nor does the Dispatch article lend any support to that theory.

The only reason Chris Redfern would have made the statements he made in that press conference is because Jennifer Garrison has no intention of dropping out of the race.  If Garrison was thinking about getting out any ways, there’d be little reason for Redfern to say or do what he did at that press conference.

With that said, I think Anthony has the wrong target in mind as to why the ODP is considering an endorsement and press conference.  I don’t think it has anything to do with Sharen Neuhardt as much as it does with Jennifer Garrison.

Think about it.  If Garrison was voluntarily leaving already, then there is little reason for ODP to endorse in this race.  However, with Garrison still in it and the endorsements she’s already acquired, I think what Redfern is doing is using the prospect of making a party endorsement as leverage to get Garrison out.  If Garrison knows that if she stays in, the party will endorse someone else, thus killing the momentum she’s built up until now.

I don’t think Chris Redfern believes that an ODP endorsement is necessary to stop Sharen Neuhardt as much as it’s necessary to stop Jennifer Garrison’s SoS campaign.  At least to me, it makes more sense that’s why ODP would consider an endorsement.  And again, it’s just a consideration.  I bet if Garrison privately signals she sees the handwriting on the wall and will not run, the ODP will drop the endorsement altogether.

Do I know this to be true?  No.  Do my “sources” tell me it’s true.  Not necessary.

But which makes more sense?  With Redfern holding a press conference all but denouncing the campaign of Jennifer Garrison, whom else would a threat of a party endorsement be targeted to but Garrison?  Again, I don’t think any of Redfern’s comments in the Dispatch could possibly be construed to be referring to Neuhardt and not Garrison.

Neuhardt could have prevented this if she hadn’t played the role of the reluctant candidate for over the past week.  She was reportedly going to announce her decision today.  It’s nearly 3 p.m. and no notice of any scheduled announcement has been made.

Neuhardt’s only rationale in considering the race was to get an alternative to Garrison.  Now that it appears to be a certainty, she may not feel the need to run.  But if she doesn’t I don’t think it’s the threat of an ODP endorsement that will do it as much as someone has stepped up to the plate to be that alternative.

Although I share Tim’s concern about Fisher trying to use this endorsement to get one in his race (especially since I’m now working for the Brunner campaign), personally, I’m not opposed to the idea if that’s what it takes to send the message to Garrison.