Fishers residents will elect their first mayor this year, and six Republicans are vying to lead the fast-growing suburb that officially will become a city on Jan. 1.
Mayoral candidates include longtime Town Council President Walt Kelly, current Town Manager Scott Fadness, first-term Town Council member Renee Cox, and Marvin Scott, who has run unsuccessfully for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Also in the race are political newcomers Maurice Heitzman and Elaine Viskant.
No Democrats entered the mayoral race by the Feb. 7 primary-election filing deadline, but the party can appoint a candidate before the general election. Hamilton County Democratic Party chief Keith Clock said officials will "continue to recruit candidates" until the summer deadline fill vacancies on the ballot.
There's another noticeable absence on the candidate list released by the Hamilton County elections office: 19-year Town Council member Scott Faultless has not filed to run for any office, including a seat on the soon-to-be-formed City Council.
Faultless, who served as council president for more than a decade, told IBJ on Monday that he is sitting out the upcoming election for personal reasons.
He didn't rule out a return to politics in the future, but said he is satisfied with the progress Fishers has made in the past two decades.
"I hope that people can say there's been an improvement, that the town is better now than it was," he said.
Voters choose partisan candidates for mayor, city council and city clerk in the May 2014 primary—typically the most-contentious election in the overwhelmingly Republican community—and return to the polls in November.
The winners will take office Jan. 1. Almost immediately, they’ll have to decide whether to run again. Another election is scheduled for 2015 to get Fishers on the state’s regular municipal election schedule.
With the exception of Cox and Faultless, all the current Town Council members are running for a seat on the new, nine-person City Council. Six will be elected from geographic districts, and three will be chosen from a field of at-large candidates.
Council President John Weingardt has no primary opponent in his south-central district, but he will face Democrat Greg Purvis on the November ballot.
Vice President Pete Peterson is unopposed in the southeast district.
Here’s a rundown of candidates in the other council races:
Southwest district: Incumbent David George will face Bill Brown in the primary; Democrat Justin Kilgore also is running.
Northwest district: Incumbent Mike Colby will face Selina Stoller in the primary; Democrat Kent Nelson also is running.
North-central district: Republicans Georgia Brown and Eric Moeller will face off in May.
Northeast district: Incumbent Stuart Easley is facing GOP opposition from former Greenfield Mayor Brad DeReamer, Fall Creek Township board member Ed Offerman, and Chad Garrard.
At-large: Republicans Rich Block, Todd Bracken, Cecilia Coble, Jeff Heinzmann, Jason W. Meyer and Todd Zimmerman are vying for three seats.