Carmel City Council President Rick Sharp officially announced Monday morning his intention to run for mayor against five-term incumbent Jim Brainard in the Republican primary in May.
Sharp has been on the council since 2004 and was named its president earlier this month.
“I have … witnessed overspending and a lack of transparency by the current administration, leading to a significant amount of financial debt and putting the future of our city at risk," Sharp said in a written statement. "I have done my best to fight for fiscal responsibility and respect for taxpayer dollars, but it has become clear to me that we need a change in the mayor’s office if we are going to move Carmel forward responsibly and sustainably.”
Sharp, 59, said he turned to a Chicago political consultant, Collin Corbett, principal of Cor Strategies, to help him take on Brainard's “machine.”
Corbett said he's worked on many municipal elections in Illinois, including in suburbs that match Carmel's demographics. In 2013, he helped oust an incumbent village president in the Chicagoland suburb Barrington Hills.
Sharp raised $88,417 in campaign funds last year and spent about $24,000. He ended the year with $69,850 on-hand.
Brainard, whose consultant is Tangent Resource LLC of Carmel, raised $188,517 and spent $84,709.
Brainard's campaign ended the year with $142,567 in the bank.