Hogsett taps ex-Ballard deputy to lead transition team

Mayor-elect Joe Hogsett on Friday appointed a high-profile Indianapolis Republican—the former deputy mayor for economic development under his predecessor, Greg Ballard—to be one of three leaders on his transition team.

Michael Huber, who served under Ballard before becoming president of the Indy Chamber two years ago, will serve as co-chair of Hogsett’s transition team along with Democratic U.S. Rep. Andre Carson and former Indiana Lt. Gov. Kathy Davis, who also is a Democrat.

Hogsett won Tuesday’s election with 62 percent of the vote against his Republican opponent, businessman Chuck Brewer, who garnered 38 percent of the vote.

“I hope we have Republicans, Democrats, independents, people from all four corners of the county and all walks of life (in my administration),” Hogsett said. “Michael’s experience beyond partisan affiliation is worth its weight in gold. I did not run to be mayor of the Democratic Party.”

Huber, who recently has worked on bolstering economic development through quality-of-life initiatives, said he heard from people in the business community this week who are encouraged that Hogsett seems to be serious about collaborating with different-minded people.

“That’s going to enable us to be very productive,” said Huber, who will continue to lead the Indy Chamber while he assists the Hogsett administration. “He wants the best people.”

Transition team members will help Hogsett vet candidates to take high-profile positions in his administration. But Hogsett said they also would work with Ballard’s administration to find out which city functions or processes could be improved.

Carson, who said he had a “pretty good” working relationship with Ballard, said he was confident that the relationship between that office and Hogsett’s administration would be seamless.

“Joe is a personal friend,” Carson said. “He’s been very candid with me, as I have been with him. The kind of candor and Socratic method that we (have) will remain strong.”

Davis, who recently left a position in Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly’s office because she disagreed with his vote to defund the health care organization Planned Parenthood, said she was excited to get to work.

“I think we’re going to be a heck of a team for Mayor Hogsett,” Davis said. 

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