Republican businessman Shreve enters Indianapolis mayoral race

Jefferson Shreve

Jefferson Shreve, the founder of Storage Express and a former City-County Council member, is running for Indianapolis mayor. His campaign creates a four-way Republican mayoral primary with Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, John L. Couch and the Rev. James W. Jackson.

Shreve filed to run Friday, just before the noon deadline. The candidate declined an interview with IBJ, but his campaign issued a written statement.

“Indianapolis is crumbling under the failed leadership of Joe Hogsett,” the statement said. “Rampant violent crime, deteriorating infrastructure, the scourge of drug addiction and homelessness, and the woke politics of the far left are driving away opportunity and destroying our neighborhoods. … Career politicians and pundits can’t save our city, we need real leadership and I look forward to sharing my vision with the people of this great city in the coming months.”

Shreve, 57, sold Storage Express for $590 million last year. Utah-based Extra Space Storage Inc. purchased Storage Express’ 107 properties in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky. As part of the acquisition, Shreve sits on the board of directors for Extra Space Storage.

Along with his business ventures, Shreve has been involved in politics for much of the past decade. 

He served two stints as a member of the Indianapolis City-County Council. He was elected to represent south-side District 23 in 2012 and held the seat until 2015.

In 2016, Shreve ran for the Republican nomination for a state Senate seat, but was beaten in the primary by current Sen. Jack Sandlin. Shreve was also a Republican National Convention delegate during the 2016 Republican presidential primary won by Donald Trump.

He was chosen by a GOP caucus in 2018 to fill a seat left vacant by former Republican City-County Councilor Jeff Miller’s resignation after Miller pleaded guilty to four battery charges stemming from a child molestation investigation. The district covered parts of downtown and the south side, including influential properties like the Indianapolis Convention Center, Lucas Oil Stadium and Eli Lilly and Co.’s massive corporate campus.

Shreve did not run for reelection after his term, and the seat is currently held by Councilor Kristin Jones.

Shreve is also on several boards and has made prominent donations to Indiana University. In 2018, he and his wife Mary funded the construction of “The Shreve Gateway,” the 52-feet tall steel structure at the corner of Michigan and West streets for IUPUI. The unspecified donation also funded two endowed scholarships.

He served as commissioner on the city’s Metropolitan Development Commission and was appointed by then-Gov. Mike Pence to Indiana’s State Workforce Innovation Council. He is on the board of directors of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Shreve received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Indiana University, a master’s in international studies from the University of London and an MBA in agribusiness from Purdue University.

On the Democratic side, incumbent Mayor Joe Hogsett will face State Rep. Robin Shackleford, Clif Marsiglio, Gregory Meriweather, Larry Vaughn and Bob Kern.

Hogsett had $3.6 million on hand in January. The long list of candidates hoping to unseat the incumbent mayor are far behind in fundraising.

The last Republican to serve as Indianapolis mayor was Greg Ballard (2008-2016), who won public favor partially due to Democratic incumbent Bart Peterson’s large property tax hike.

In 2019, Hogsett trounced Republican Jim Merritt with 73% of the vote.

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10 thoughts on “Republican businessman Shreve enters Indianapolis mayoral race

  1. Thank you! Jeff is a great candidate!
    I look forward to hearing his ideas and vision. We need leadership that is focused on what Indianapolis needs to become a great city again, and less on whatever our current mayor is focused on.

    1. Riley Z, I agree completely. It’s a tired narrative that would not work in Indianapolis.

  2. I don’t really see how the “woke politics of the far left” are “driving away opportunity” or “destroying our neighborhoods,” but OK. You can call Hogsett many things but “woke” isn’t one of them. This kind of language may work in most Indiana cities, but I don’t think so in Indianapolis.

  3. I come downtown to work everyday and it is an epic disaster. I moved here in 2003 and it was a vibrant city at that time. It has monumentally deteriorated under Hogsett’s complete lack of leadership and the homelessness problem is simply awful. Constantly accosted on my way to and from work. Very sad, I will back Jeff Shreve and certainly hope he can bring this city back to its former luster.

    1. Rachel S.
      Agreed completely. I moved I here in the mid 80’s when downtown was
      vibrant, clean, safe, and THE LEVEL OF OPTIMISM was through the roof.
      That has changed dramatically over the last few several years.
      Not like that anymore.

      Downtown looks drab & dingy, unkept, homeless everywhere along Illinois Street
      from the bus station up to Washington Street, closed store fronts,
      and it doesn’t feel safe anymore.

      Monument Circle’s greatness is not there anymore either for the same reasons.
      Monument Circle is the place that should really be a center of greatness
      with excitement and vibrancy.
      No other space downtown represents our city more.

      I hope downtown can achieve that level of greatness and optimism again.
      We need a leader with vision that can get the
      private sector on board also.

      I don’t know much about Jefferson Shreve, but I hope he has a vision and
      a great plan. The R’s must step up!!

      It will be an uphill battle as Indianapolis has become a Dem strong.

    2. Downtown might indeed be drab and dingy now, no small part due to Hogsett’s ineptitude, but to claim that it was “vibrant, clean, safe” in the mid 80s? That’s nutty. It was India-no-place at least until Union Station came along. A “graveyard with lights.”

      With nobody downtown after 5:15pm even on Fridays, I guess it was at least easy to clean, I’ll grant you that.

    3. Lauren B.

      Always great to read your comments. Your Common sense is always appreciated.

      However, I would very respectfully disagree on the optimism and cleanliness.
      There was a level of optimism on the direction that downtown was going.

      If you get a chance, come downtown. Monument Circle is in need of
      attention and investment. It’s sad to see how this block area has
      went down hill.

      Then drive along Illinois Street from the bus station up to Ohio Street.
      It’s deteriorated. An area that out of towners usually must traverse.

      We must innovate and think outside the box.

  4. Hogsett doesn’t seem to understand that as mayor you have to sweat the small stuff everyday. That means cleaning, repairing and policing. He’s looking for home runs when those type of opportunities are rare. Do the things people expect a mayor to do each and every day. That’s how so many small cities and towns have had a difference for their citizens. Look at Greenwood and Franklin to see what actual hard work looks like.