Democrat Clif Marsiglio leaving mayoral race, backing Shackleford

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Robin Shackleford, left, and Clif Marsiglio. (IBJ photo/Taylor Wooten)

With 11 days to go until the primary election, Indianapolis mayoral candidate Clif Marsiglio is ending his campaign to support fellow Democrat Robin Shackleford in the race.

Shackleford, a state representative, and Marsiglio announced the decision Friday during a press conference in which Shackleford was scheduled to discuss a plan to make the city more inclusive.

Marsiglio works as a data analyst at IUPUI and serves on several local not-for-profit boards, including Citizens Alliance for Public Safety. The not-for-profit seeks to “blur the line between the public and the public safety professionals who serve them,” according to the organization’s website.

A self-described progressive, Marsiglio said he shares some beliefs with Shackleford, but that he wants to push her to take harder stances on issues such as abortion and LGBTQ issues.

At the filing deadline on Feb. 3, Marsiglio, Shackleford, Gregory Meriweather, Bob Kern and Larry Vaughn were all vying for the Democratic nomination against Mayor Joe Hogsett. Since then, Marsiglio and Meriweather have both decided to end their campaigns to join Shackleford.

“My agreement with Robin is that we both need to take down Joe because we can’t have another four years of a Joe Hogsett administration,” Marsiglio told IBJ prior to the announcement.

Marsiglio believes a Republican might have a chance at beating Hogsett in the general election, he added.

The discussion began when he contacted Shackleford after a town hall hosted by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. on Monday, Marsiglio said.

Marsiglio believes that his ideas—like establishing unarmed civilian respondents for mental health crises—are catching traction among voters. But he said Shackleford is far more polished.

“She is a better face for the city than I will ever be,” Marsiglio said. “I can’t imagine having to speak on a regular basis to the public. However, people like my policies.”

Marsiglio’s campaign had been focused on dealing with mental health and addiction issues. As part of their collaboration, Marsiglio said Shackleford has asked him to help with her campaign’s mental health platform.

The deadline to withdraw a candidacy has passed, so both Marsiglio and Meriweather will appear on the ballot.

So far, Marsiglio has not been heavily funded. He reported raising $1,256 since January and currently has $469 remaining after expenditures.

Shackleford raised $58,119 during the reporting period and spent $45,318. She ended the filing period with $53,114 cash on hand, but the campaign also owes a $25,000 debt.

Hogsett has maintained more than $4 million in campaign funds, but told IBJ he has no plans to spend heavily during the primary.

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