Republican Shreve spends $1.4M on primary effort, while Hogsett holds onto $4M-plus war chest

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Incumbent Joe Hogsett, a Democrat, has significantly more cash in his campaign coffers than any of the other candidates running for Indianapolis mayor, although Republican Jefferson Shreve spent the most during the first quarter of 2023, according to campaign finance reports.

Candidates were required to submit finance reports by noon Friday for the period beginning Jan. 1 and ending April 7. Hogsett, who had already amassed a significant war chest before he even announced he would seek a third term, raised nearly $692,000 during the period, leaving him with $4.1 million cash on hand. Shreve, who gave his campaign $2 million and shelled out nearly $1.2 million on advertising, ending the period with $655,663 cash on hand.

For the period, Shreve spent $1.42 million, while Hogsett spent just $160,583.

Ads paid for by Shreve’s campaign have largely targeted the incumbent mayor, rather than his GOP opponents, a group that includes radio personality Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, who is far behind in fundraising and spending. Hogsett, meanwhile, has held off running ads during the primary election. His best-known Democratic opponent—state Rep. Robin Shackleford—is far behind in fundraising.

Shreve, an entrepreneur who sold his self-storage company last year for $590 million, has largely self-funded his primary campaign, providing 96% of the contributions from its start on Feb 3 to the end of the period. The rest of his contributions—about $74,000—came from 27 other donors.

In addition to the nearly $1.2 million he paid to Bullhorn Consulting, a political ad agency, Shreve also spent $30,000 with Public Opinion Strategies LLC  and nearly $115,000 with Midwest Communications Group.

Hogsett received several large donations during the period, including $50,000 contributions from Herb Simon, co-founder of Simon Property Group and owner of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, and Cindy Simon Skjodt, a philanthropist and daughter of Simon Property co-founder Mel Simon.

The largest contribution to Hogsett was $100,000 from law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister. The firm also gave the incumbent mayor nearly $102,000 last year.

Taggart Birge, CEO of real estate firms Cornerstone Cos. Inc. and Birge & Held, gave Hogsett $25,000.

Hannah Thomas, communications director for the Hogsett campaign, said the report includes 168 “small dollar” contributions.

“Mayor Joe is proud of the grassroots momentum fueling this campaign, and we look forward using these resources to promote his positive message and substantive plans that will keep Indianapolis neighborhoods moving forward,” Thomas said.

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.

Shabazz’s campaign had issues with its report, he told IBJ. That meant it was not fully available for review.

But the summary page, which was published on the Marion County Election Board’s campaign finance portal Friday afternoon, showed Shabazz raised $88,943 during the reporting period and spent $11,319.

He ended the period with $77,623 in cash on hand.

The primary election is May 2. The Rev. James W. Jackson and John Couch are also running in the Republican primary. Clif Marsiglio, Larry Vaughn and Bob Kern are running for the Democratic nomination.

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11 thoughts on “Republican Shreve spends $1.4M on primary effort, while Hogsett holds onto $4M-plus war chest

    1. IBJ didn’t give an express or implied endorsement of anybody. This article is simply reporting on facts and using quotes from various stakeholders to contextualize those facts.

    2. The fact that Shreve has self-funded 96-percent of his campaign suggests he is not attracting any meaningful support, which spells trouble in the general election.

  1. Shreve has experience renting empty space to people with so much stuff they paid him to store it . I don’t see how that converts to leading a complex city.

    1. And he’s opposed to making right-turns-on-red illegal in the Mile Square. Obviously he “thinks big” lol.

    2. Hogwash does have a lot of experience in NOT doing things such as road repairs, fighting crime and homelessness, making downtown look nice like it did before 2020 etc…

    1. Republicans have decided they’re going steal from Indianapolis and blame the Democrats because some of you folks actually think it’s Joe Hogsett’s fault he can’t make chicken salad from chicken ca-ca.

      When the state GOP decides they’re going to give Indianapolis it’s fair share of road funding, I’ll change my mind. Their current behavior is indefensible and voting for Republicans who can’t even be bothered to stand up and fight at the Statehouse for Marion County voters is a waste of your time.

      Here’s what Shreve said: “We’re kidding ourselves if we think the General Assembly is going to suddenly pivot its position and open up the road-funding formula to make it friendly to Marion County”. I appreciate his honesty before the election but if you aren’t willing to fight for your constituents, Mr. Shreve, why are you running again?

      A reminder that Greg Ballard’s idea was to sell city assets to pay for roads. This is also foolish because you eventually run out of assets to sell but your needs remain.

      There’s plenty to blame Joe Hogsett for. Roads ain’t one of them.