Ballard cruises to victory in bid for second term

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard easily won a second term Tuesday, pulling off a solid victory against Democratic challenger Melina Kennedy.

As of 10:10 p.m., with 99.5 percent of the 593 precincts reporting, Ballard led Kennedy with 51.3 percent of the more than 178,700 votes tallied so far in Marion County. He had 91,660 votes compared with Kennedy’s 84,269, or 47.1 percent.

Kennedy conceded the election about 9 p.m.

Ballard landed a sizable number of split-ticket votes to claim victory as Democrats reclaimed control of the City-County Council, capturing 16 of the 29 seats. About 55 percent of the straight-party votes in Marion County were cast for Democrats.

His victory gives the career Marine and relative political newcomer another four years to focus on issues such as infrastructure repair, reforms in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and economic development initiatives. Those were among the areas he tackled during his first term through moves such as the sale of the city’s water and sewer utilities and projects such as the $155 million City Way development north of Eli Lilly’s campus.

"People appreciate the work the mayor had done the last four years," said Marion County GOP Chairman Kyle Walker on Tuesday night. "They want to see a continuation of the progress Mayor Ballard has brought to Indianapolis."

In his next term, Ballard has talked about pursuing economic-development initiatives such as expanding airline service at Indianapolis International Airport; continuing infrastructure improvements such as repairing roads and building new sidewalks; and maintaining the city’s fiscal stability and AAA bond rating.

Political experts said voter turnout would play a big role in election results, with heavier turnout likely favoring Kennedy. Nearly 30 percent of registered voters turned out Tuesday, more than the 27 percent who showed up in 2007 to the last mayoral election.

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