It’s safe to say that the results from Tuesday’s election will have lasting effects on the city of Anderson beyond the next four years.

Although incumbent Democrat Thomas Broderick Jr. won a third term with a razor-thin margin, the most intriguing outcome was the dramatic change on the Anderson City Council.

Broderick’s opponent, Republican Jon Bell had the support of Democrat Rebecca Crumes, the president of the city council, and Rodney Chamberlain, who lost the Democratic mayoral nomination in May to Broderick.

The intention was for Bell to be elected mayor and the friendly Democrats on the city council to win re-election.

That strategy backfired when all three Democrats running for at-large seats on the city council were defeated by Republicans Rachel Landers, Tiffany Harless and Mark Turner, something that hadn’t taken place in 44 years.

Instead of a 7-2 majority on the council, the Democrats now have a 5-4 majority.

Despite the change in the makeup, Broderick could find support from the new GOP members as he presents programs in the future.

One of the first changes in council action could be with the lawsuit filed earlier this year by Common Cause, the League of Women Voters of Indiana and the local branch of the NAACP over the council’s failure to redraw council district lines following the 2020 census.

With the defeat Tuesday of Crumes and Ty Bibbs, two of the proponents for battling the redistricting lawsuit in federal court will not be there starting on Jan. 1.

The council, through the efforts of Crumes and city attorney Rosemary Khoury, has hired a Chicago law firm to fight the redistricting push in federal court at a possible cost of up to $200,000 to city taxpayers.

Will the new council consider attempting to reach a settlement before a federal judge makes a decision?

A settlement could involve the council agreeing to draw new district lines in time for the 2027 election and to pay the legal fees of the three organizations that filed the federal lawsuit.

Councilman Ollie H. Dixon made a valid point when he said that the federal voting rights act allows for a district to ensure minority representation on the council.

Redistricting will become a reality, but by agreeing to redraw the lines, the council would have a say in what the districts will look like, including the minority in the 4th District.

A settlement will also save taxpayer dollars.
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