Former U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett invoked the spirit of the late Robert Kennedy on Wednesday when he announced he's seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor of Indianapolis.
Hogsett made the announcement at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park on the city's near-north side at the same spot where Kennedy announced King's assassination on April 4, 1968. Kennedy was widely credited with keeping the city calm while rioting occurred elsewhere.
"I believe we will do better by embracing that spirt," Hogsett said. "For that one night, Indianapolis could not be divided. It was one city. It was our city."
Hogsett has built name recognition over the past four years as the top federal prosecutor for central and southern Indiana, targeting violent crime as the city has coped with a spike in homicides related largely to the illegal drug trade. He resigned the post in late July.
Hogsett was joined for the announcement by leading Democrats, including former U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, who appointed Hogsett secretary of state to complete Bayh's unfinished term when Bayh became governor in 1989. Hogsett was elected to his own term as secretary of state in 1990. He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1992, for the U.S. House in 1994 and for Indiana attorney general in 2004.
He faces a contest for the Democrats' mayoral nomination; State Rep. Ed DeLaney is months into his campaign.
Republican Mayor Greg Ballard announced last week that he won't seek a third term next year as the leader of Indiana's largest city, saying it's time for him to move on.