At the annual Jefferson County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner, Metro Councilman Ken Fleming, R-7, called for the GOP to take control of the city legislature in 2012.
Since city and county governments merged in 2003, however, Republicans have had a fleeting minority coming no closer than a 15-11 margin.
In 2011, Democrats increased their control to a 17-seat majority, which is almost veto-proof and makes a five seat swing in favor of the GOP unlikely, but Fleming is confident given the in roads made by former Councilman Hal Heiner’s unsuccessful mayoral campaign, which came narrowly close to winning last fall despite Democrats outnumbering Republicans by a 2-to-1 ratio.
“Anything is possible,” Fleming says. “What we need to do and focus on is promoting what I think are the true values of this community in education and business policy. Even though in some districts they retained the current council members, I think there’s a general sense that there needs to be a change in operating local government.”
The even-numbered council members will be up for re-election in 2012, but most of those districts have party registration ratios that favor the incumbents. Even after redistricting council seats, with President Obama at the top of the ticket Democratic turnout will be significantly higher for any would-be GOP challenger taking on an entrenched Democratic opponent.