Despite the Democratic Party lagging behind in polls and early voting results nationwide, spirits were high at the Indiana Democratic Party Election Party at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.
The defining event of the night was certainly the Senate race, where Democrat Brad Ellsworth battled Republican Dan Coats for Evan Bayh’s open Senate seat. Ellsworth lost by a margin of 50 percent to 40 percent.
In his concession speech, Ellsworth stayed positive, praising the hard work and dedication of his supporters.
“The campaign has only reinforced my love for my community and this state,” he said.
He also spoke of the campaign trail and the opportunities it’s given him to connect with Hoosiers.
“I have absolutely no regret,” he said. “We have traveled the road of Indiana and I couldn’t be more proud to have gotten to meet great Hoosiers at every turn.”
Despite the loss, Ellsworth had non-partisan words of encouragement for Indiana Democrats.
“Please don’t ever be disillusioned that you got involved and you got behind candidates that you believed in and you knew,” he remarked.
Following Ellsworth’s speech, the atmosphere was sober but still lively, with people mingling and awaiting the results of the Marion County and Congressional races.
Meanwhile, Ellsworth walked around thanking supporters while the song “Don’t Stop Believing,” played over the speakers.
He was congenial with guests, greeting them and thanking them for their support and attendance, even stopping to chat and share a drink with a few supporters.
Although the Democrats lost the Indiana Senate race, it was a successful night for the Marion County Democratic Party.
Many Democrats marked victories, with Congressman André Carson re-elected as House representative for the district.
“We have proved the pundits wrong,” Carson said, reflecting on the Democratic Party’s projected losses in the election.
Carson thanked all his supporters for all their hard work, and stressed the unification and the diversity of the Democratic Party.
The audience at the Election Party was quite diverse in terms of race, gender, and age.
“We made a commitment in 2008 that we would move our country forward,” Carson said.
He stressed that the Democratic Party needed bold leadership to continue promoting its policies in Washington.
Carson’s message for achieving this was non-partisan.
“We have to come together and settle our petty differences,” Carson said.
He expressed optimism for the Democratic Party’s prospects for success in the future.
Other notable victories include John Layton for Sheriff and Terry Curry for Prosecutor, who both made speeches at the event.
Other than Carson’s victory, Democrats were able to clinch a few more Congressional seats statewide, with the victories of Peter Visclosky and Joe Donnelly of Indiana’s 1st and 2nd Districts, respectively.