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. "bike lanes, specialized lighting, decorative signage, public art, grass medians, trees and rain gardens" These are all nice things to have, but can we freaking get the hundreds of potholes all over the city fixed first?!?!?!!?!?!

  2. When a criminal with multiple prior convictions serves five days of a one year sentence and later kills a police officer with a weapon illegally in his posession, residents of Boone County need to pay a tax to drive to work... PERFECT Progressive logic.. If, on the other hand, a fund were to be set up to build more prisons and hire more guards to keep the known criminals off the streets, I'd be the first to contribute.

  3. Not a word about how much the taxpayers will be ripped off on this deal. Crime spirals out of control and the the social problems that cause it go unheeded by an administration that does not give a rats behind about the welfare of our citizens. There is no money for police or plowing snow (remember last winter) or or or or, but spend on a sports complex, and the cash flows out of the taxpayers pockets. This city is SICK

  4. Sounds like a competitor just wanted to cause a problem. I would think as long as they are not "selling" the alcohol to the residents it is no different than if I serve wine to dinner guests. With all the violent crime happening I would think they should turn their attention to real criminals. Let these older residents enjoy what pleasures they can. Then again those boozed up residents may pose a danger to society.

  5. Where did the money go from the 2007 Income tax increase for public safety that the Mayor used to stir opposition and win the election and then failed to repeal (although he promised he would when he was running for election)? Where did the money go from the water utility sale? Where did the money go from the parking meter deal? Why does the money have all these funds for TIF deals and redevelopment of Mass avenue, and subsidy for luxury high rises, parking garages in Broad Ripple, and granola chain grocery stores but can not find the money to take care of public safety. Commuters shouldn't have to pay the tax of failed leadership in Marion County by leaders that commuters have no say in electing. Taxation without representation.