Indianapolis Mayor Hogsett announces bid for third term

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced Tuesday that he will seek a third term next year as head of Indiana’s largest city and economy powerhouse.

The 66-year-old Democrat was first elected mayor in 2015 and easily won re-election in 2019, but will seek to become only the second mayor to win more than two terms since city limits spread across Marion County in the 1970s have been expanded .

“All I can see standing here tonight is tomorrow,” Hogsett said when announcing his re-election bid.

Hogsett has overseen several major city projects as mayor, including this year’s opening of a new $590 million criminal justice complex that will house the county courts and jail, and the long-stalled redevelopment of a vacant General Motors plant campus nearby downtown.

However, Hogsett has been criticized for the city’s crime rate, including a record number of homicides in 2021, along with his handling of violent protests in 2020 over the police killing of George Floyd and the sluggish recovery of downtown Indianapolis businesses.

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Hogsett’s campaign is touting increased city police spending — including a 16% pay rise for new officers — and new programs like a 24-hour team of behavioral health professionals to respond to calls about mental health problems and substance abuse problems.

Indianapolis has a strong Democratic bias, and complaints about crimes committed by Republicans didn’t seem to hold up to Marion County’s Democratic Attorney Ryan Mears as he won last week’s election by nearly 60% of the vote.

No Republican mayoral candidates have surfaced yet, but Rep. Robin Shackleford announced last week that she would be running in the Democratic primary. Shackleford, chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus, said her campaign will focus on making the city safer and narrowing the gap between affluent and poor neighborhoods.

Hogsett was the chief federal attorney in Indianapolis before running for mayor for the first time. He began his political career in the 1980s as Evan Bayh’s top adviser and succeeded Bayh as Secretary of State for six years after Bayh was elected governor.

Republican William Hudnut was the only recent Indianapolis mayor to win more than two terms, serving 16 years from 1976 to 1991. The only other mayor to seek a third term since has been Democrat Bart Peterson, who was angered by Republican Gregor Ballard in the 2007 election.

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