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Democrat Williams drops out of race for mayor

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Democrat Brian Williams, a candidate for mayor of Indianapolis, announced on Tuesday that he is dropping out of the race.

“Today, because of business demands and family concerns, I have made the difficult decision to suspend my mayoral campaign,” he said in a prepared statement. “However, I am proud of the efforts our team has made and believe we have raised issues and standards that are relevant to the success of our city’s future.”

Williams, a venture capitalist, said he is endorsing front runner Melina Kennedy, who is pursuing the Democratic nomination to run against Mayor Greg Ballard, a Republican, in 2011. Kennedy, a former deputy mayor under Bart Peterson, is a partner at the local law firm of Baker & Daniels LLP.

“Melina offers the leadership needed for Indianapolis to succeed in these challenging economic times, and we share a perspective on building a city that offers a brighter future for all its residents,” Williams said.

Williams has been a vocal critic of Ballard’s plan to sell the city’s water and sewer utilities to Citizens Energy Group, saying the proposed contract’s terms aren’t strong enough to ensure the cleanliness of Indianapolis water in the future. He also doubts the city will receive the full $425 million expected from the deal.

He also said he wanted to see improvement in education, namely higher graduation rates at Indianapolis Public Schools and the township school districts. The former speechwriter and policy adviser for Evan Bayh also wants a long-term solution to the Capital Improvement Board financial mess.

Williams described his potential fellow candidates as “a great group of friends who have the same interest in making Indianapolis a great city.”
 

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  • Ideas
    Williams brought energy to the mayoral campaign that I hope continues. He led the analysis of the water co. deal, proposed putting the mayor in charge of public schools and challenged his party's leadership by recruiting precinct committee people to name three examples. Indianapolis needs more of this, not less. Hopefully others were paying attention.

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