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2014 NEWSMAKER: Joe Hogsett

December 27, 2014

Former U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett went from ruling out a mayoral run to front-runner in the course of eight months.

Heading into 2014, Hogsett was seen as a strong Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican Mayor Greg Ballard, but Hogsett announced in January that he wouldn’t run for mayor in 2015, or for statewide office in 2016. By November, Hogsett was an official candidate and the front-runner.

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Hogsett announced in July that he would resign his post as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, a position in which political activity is prohibited. At the time and because of those prohibitions, Hogsett couldn’t discuss his plans, but former U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh endorsed him in a meeting with reporters.

Hogsett set up a campaign headquarters in August and announced his candidacy in November at the Landmark for Peace, where the late U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy spoke the night of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Even after Hogsett took pains to announce in January that he wouldn’t run, Marion County Democrats held out hope that he would change his mind. State Rep. Ed DeLaney and lobbyist Frank Short entered the race in the meantime, but dropped out after Hogsett was in.

Hogsett started his career in politics running Bayh’s successful campaigns for secretary of state and governor. Bayh appointed Hogsett secretary of state in 1988, and he was re-elected once before deciding not to run in 1994.

Hogsett went on to lose bids for U.S. Senate and House seats and for Indiana attorney general.

Explore all of our 2014 Year in Review coverage.

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