5. Glenda and Joe win big
We knew David Galvin was a sharp guy from his time working for Greg Goodnight, but perhaps no one saw the power of social networking quite like Galvin did. The proof was political newcomer Glenda Ritz’ shocking victory over the well-funded campaign of Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett. Galvin led the Facebook/Twitter guerrilla campaign which put Ritz over the top.
Another Kokomo connection, our soon-to-be former congressman, Joe Donnelly, beat the odds (with considerable help from his opponent) and became Indiana’s next U.S. Senator.
Locally, there were no surprises. Probably the biggest development was the renewal of Dick Miller’s control over the Howard County Council, through the election of key ally Jim Papacek, and the retirement of wild card Joe Pencek.
Howard County closely mirrored the state in the big races, with a slight majority choosing Mitt Romney for President, in a state which was always going to revert to red. The big question next year is what the Republicans will do with their supermajorities in the Indiana House and Senate.
6. Not sure what happened
One day, Michael Harris was the dynamic leader of Indiana University Kokomo, keeping the school constantly in the press through new programs and Harris’ penchant for weighing in on the major topics of the day.
And the next day, Harris was gone. School officials wouldn’t say why, and Harris was unavailable for comment.
In the history of key community leaders moving on, Harris’ resignation stands alone in terms of sheer mystery. Most of the community quickly concluded something negative had happened, and school officials didn’t do much to dispel that prevailing notion.
Many leaders said they appreciated his hard-driving style and his desire to affect change quickly. Whether he simply didn’t mesh with IU leadership or whether there was more to it than that, Harris’ tenure will go down as a strange, hopeful subchapter in the school’s history.