Indianapolis mayor challengers among primary hopefuls

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Democrats will choose their candidate Tuesday to run against Indianapolis Republican Mayor Greg Ballard, while voters statewide pick nominees for city offices.

Former Deputy Mayor Melina Kennedy is regarded as the leading Democrat in the Indianapolis mayor's race and is far ahead of her rivals in fundraising and party support. She faces former City-County Councilman Ron Gibson and Sam Carson Sr., the little-known son of the late U.S. Rep. Julia Carson.

Ballard defeated Kennedy's former boss, then-Mayor Bart Peterson, in the 2007 election and has no opposition for the Republican nomination.

Kennedy, who lost a close race for Marion County prosecutor in 2006, has focused her attention on Ballard, saying he has enacted too many fee increases and hasn't done enough to reduce crime or reverse job losses in the city.

"He seems to be asking residents to be satisfied with the status quo, satisfied with the way things are and satisfied with less than we should be," Kennedy said.

Ballard campaign manager Megan Robertson said the mayor "has spent three years fixing problems Melina Kennedy and her administration left behind."

Current U.S. Rep. Andre Carson has endorsed Kennedy even though Sam Carson is his uncle.

Also being decided in Tuesday's primary are nominations for mayoral offices in South Bend, Evansville and Gary, where the current mayors aren't seeking re-election.

State Rep. Ryan Dvorak and Pete Buttigieg, who was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for state treasurer last year, are the most prominent candidates seeking their party's nomination to replace South Bend Mayor Stephen Luecke, a Democrat who is stepping down after 14 years in office.

The Evansville race features Vanderburgh County Treasurer Rick Davis and former county commissioner Troy Tornatta squaring off for the Democratic nomination to succeed two-term Democratic Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. County Commissioner Lloyd Winnecke faces a little-known challenger for the Republican nomination.

Voters in Gary could be picking the city's first female mayor with City Councilwoman Ragen Hatcher and former state Attorney General Karen Freeman-Wilson seen as the top Democratic contenders in a city that hasn't elected a Republican leader in more than 65 years.


  • missed one
    Bloomington has a big Dem primary between incumbent Mark Kruzan and challenger John Hamilton.

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  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............