From: Virginia Moats
In hearing that longtime Democrat Kitty Coriden suddenly switched parties for her upcoming re-election to the office of Superior Court II judge, I was quite shocked and disappointed.
In speaking with other longtime Democrats, I found that many shared those same feelings, and we are looking for an explanation as to why she would abandon a 30-year relationship with the Democratic Party.
From knocking on doors, giving money to campaigns and talking to our friends, we have proudly endorsed Coriden and her husband, Terry, in their races for elected office as Democrats.
We proudly cheered when Democratic Gov. Frank O’Bannon appointed her to the bench after Republican Norm Curry retired. We shared Kitty’s disappointment in 2002 and Terry’s in 2006 after losing races to people we felt were less capable and reasonable and celebrated when she won back her judgeship in 2008.
The Democratic Party, too, has benefited from the Coridens’ generosity and support in helping us beat Republicans. Many of us spent time in their family’s law office making phone calls to voters.
Democratic candidates from all over the state relied on their advice and network to help them win. They helped build the Democratic Party through their founding support of the Democratic Ladies League. This past makes her present decision all the more disturbing to her friends who stood by her and her family through good times and bad.
Does her decision to change parties after more than 30 years show she has totally changed her beliefs and values? Is this decision one where she has seen Republicans win the vast majority of races in Bartholomew County over the past decade and feels she must switch to keep power?
Does she expect us to follow along by placing her candidacy over that of the party she helped build? Does she think that her longtime support base of proud Democrats does not matter and cannot help her?
After 30 years, I feel these questions need to be answered by Coriden. For myself and many Democrats, our party reflects who we are as people and how we think problems in our community, state and nation should be solved.
I felt for many years that she stood with us. Now, I am unsure where she stands, and I believe that voters in the upcoming primary election need to hear from her as to why she made this important, defining decision so late in her career.