Former WTHR-TV anchor John Stehr to run for mayor of Zionsville

John Stehr

John Stehr, a news anchor at WTHR-TV Channel 13 for nearly 23 years before retiring in 2018, plans to run for mayor of Zionsville, he said Tuesday.

Stehr, a 28-year Zionsville resident, currently serves as president of the town’s Board of Parks and Recreation. He told IBJ he began thinking about running for mayor about a year ago.

“I have had a lot of interaction with the town council and with town departments, and I just see an incredible lack of communication is going on, and I think it’s holding Zionsville back from achieving the goals that I would like to see Zionsville achieve,” Stehr said.

Stehr, 64, said his priorities if elected would include focusing on Zionsville’s finances, the town’s growth, public safety and mental health.

“We should be providing city services as efficiently as we can,” Stehr said. “We need to be supporting our local businesses. And we need to have a plan for what the town is going to be in 25 or 30 years.”

Stehr’s career in TV journalism spanned more than four decades. He came to WTHR in 1995 from CBS News in New York, where he was a network correspondent and anchor for CBS Morning News. Stehr also was a founding anchor of CNBC.

Prior to that, Stehr worked as an anchor and reporter at KUTV-TV in Salt Lake City, Utah; WISH-TV in Indianapolis; WOTV-TV (now WOOD-TV) in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and WJET-TV and WSEE-TV in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Stehr is the second Republican mayoral candidate to file to run in the May 2, 2023, primary election. Jane Burgess, who served on the Zionsville School Board from 2008 to 2020, previously announced her campaign for mayor.

Mayor Emily Styron has not publicly announced if she will seek re-election next year. Styron, a Democrat, defeated former Mayor Tim Haak by 88 votes in 2019.

Zionsville, which reorganized its system of government in 2014, is one of two towns in Indiana to have an elected mayor. The reorganization merged Zionsville’s government with Perry Township in southeastern Boone County and created the position of mayor to serve as the town’s chief executive.

Stehr lives in Zionsville with his wife, Amy. The couple have three sons and three daughters.

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19 thoughts on “Former WTHR-TV anchor John Stehr to run for mayor of Zionsville

    1. To Glen F…….. Your statement that “Any Republican would likely do a better job than the current mayor THEY have.” leads me to believe you don’t live in Zionsville and your remark is purely political. It doesn’t appear you have any interest other than denigrating our Democratic mayor.

    2. AMEN, Glen F. That woman Mayor they have now is an idiot. Her social media remarks, well-circulated, to the gentleman about the Second Amendment proved how unfit she is for public office. Clearly off the rails emotionally and intellectually. (Sorry if that triggers you, JohnP., but she is bad news through and through.)

    3. Glen F: So “the worst Republican is world’s better than the best Democrat”?
      That doesn’t say much for your cognitive ability.

    4. I, along with 40% of the country, detest political parties. No content, just Us vs. Them. It would be refreshing to see the candidates for mayor compete on ideas (which is what Stehr and the incumbent seem to want to do) without the noise of partisans.

  1. There are many of us in Zionsville who believe the mayor has had a positive impact on the town. And, who are also frustrated by the 100% Republican town council that seems to be out for blood versus progress.

    1. Kacie, please explain how spending over a quarter million dollars town funds on frivolous law suits, proceeding anyway with town hall improvements that were turned down, refusing to provide town budget figures for over 18 months, being cited for numerous infractions in the recent SBOA audit report and thus having the Zionsville S&P bond rating lowered for the first time in our history has had a positive impact on the town? Sure doesn’t read like progress to me – and I’m not a Republican nor out for blood. Just a resident who expects our town finances to be well managed and our mayor to well represent us.

    2. Fair enough, Kacie S…so what “positive impact on the town” has Mayor provided? Steve R. seems to cite many legitimate comments to the contrary; what say you?

    3. She has done poorly as the leader of the executive branch of this town, plain as that. In addition, her Facebook outbursts are an embarrassment to the town and show her lack of will to educate herself on important national issues before sharing her knee-jerk reaction.

  2. The merger to create the new Zionsville was the original Town, Eagle Township andUnion Township. This matters because the new mayor will have a big influence on how North Michigan Road continues to develop.

  3. This is going to be a tough choice between Stehr and Burgess – both great people and should easily defeat Stryon should she decide to run for re-election. Have a feeling Stehr has a huge advantage in name recognition though…hopefully, we’ll get more platform info in the coming months.

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