The longtime mayor of Greenwood’s surprise loss in the city’s Republican primary Tuesday could be attributed partly to his unpopular plan to revitalize the city’s downtown.
Four-time incumbent Charles Henderson was defeated by Mark Myers, a 14-year veteran of Greenwood’s police department, by more than 700 votes. Myers won nearly 60 percent of the vote.
Henderson one of just two incumbents to suffer an upset in numerous mayoral primaries Tuesday in the Indianapolis area.
His plans to revive the downtown by demolishing several historic buildings angered many Greenwood residents. Just a day before the primary, preservation group Indiana Landmarks released its annual list of the state's 10 most endangered properties, which included a portion of downtown Greenwood.
The organization said Henderson wants to acquire and demolish seven buildings near the intersection of Main Street and Madison Avenue, and redevelop the site with architecture that mimics the Italianate-style and Classical Revival-style buildings that would be torn down.
The buildings are in good condition and house several businesses, Indiana Landmarks said.
Most other incumbent mayors in the Indianapolis area won their primaries, except for Greenfield Mayor Brad DeReamer, who was defeated easily by Republican Dick Pasco. Pasco will run against Phil Miller, a Libertarian.
In Carmel, oft-criticized Republican Mayor Jim Brainard handily defeated challengers John V. Accetturo and Marnin J. Spigelman. Brainard, who is running for his fifth term, claimed 63 percent of the vote.
Accetturo, a city councilman who got 22 percent of the vote, sent out a controversial flyer during the campaign that put Brainard in the same company as Moammar Gadhafi, Saddam Hussein, Hugo Chavez and Rod Blagojevich.
Also in Hamilton County, Republicans John Ditslear in Noblesville and Andy Cook in Westfield both were winners. Cook narrowly defeated challenger Russell Cameron by 72 votes and will face Democrat M. Kurtis Maddox in the November election.
Beech Grove Democrat Dennis Buckley beat challenger Buddy Templin and will run against Republican Terry Dilk in November.
In Lawrence, Republican Paul Ricketts got by John Solenberg by 130 votes and will face Democrat Dean E. Jessup in November.