Sunday, March 11, 2012

Did Susan Brooks shift to the right?

One of the earliest candidates for the Fifth District Congressional seat being vacated by a (finally!) retiring Dan Burton is attorney Susan Brooks.  A former U.S. Attorney and executive at Ivy Tech, Brooks is the only female candidate in the race.

When I learned of her announcement in July 2011 that she would oppose Burton, who had not yet announced retirement, I was interested as she had a reputation as a moderate who might be pro-choice and not dogmatically Radical Right like Burton.  Apart from being female, such moderate positions would distinguish her in that race.

But with Burton out and a total of 8 GOP candidates for the nomination in the Fifth, Brooks seemingly has veered to the right with the rest of the field.  She now describes herself as a "pro-life conservative" and makes policy statements accordingly.

In doing so, has Brooks abandoned large numbers of moderate GOP women who might otherwise support her?  By shifting to the right, does she risk losing those moderate GOP women to a Democrat if she is her party's nominee?  With the altered makeup of the Fifth District, that is a very real possibility.

Bad move by Brooks.