in Overcrowded Hallways
It's never too early to start looking ahead, and the political rumor mill is heating up for 2015, and the possible candidates for Mayor of Indianapolis are interesting.
Of course, the biggest fish in the room is Mayor Greg Ballard. Winning a third term in office is often difficult and Ballard, at least for show, seemed pretty hard-to-convince at first to run for a second term. Ballard will only be 60 when the next election for Indianapolis Mayor comes around in 2015. That's hardly early enough to retire. Ballard's next three years in office will probably go a long way to determining whether or not he run. So far, he's been fairly quiet in his second term. It took him two years to get going last time around, so he'll probably figure out what his second term legacy might be around the middle of next year or so.
Anything Ballard wants to do on his own will certainly be hampered by the fact that he no longer controls the City-County Council. Democrats, of course, do. Clearly, by stealing Ryan Vaughn away from the Council to be his Chief of Staff, he knows how important working with the Council will be in these next three years.
I think the chances of him running again are probably about 50-50 at this point. He certainly, as an incumbent, will have those advantages there. If his heart is in it, he probably will give it another go. If it's not, he might turn it over to someone else. Of course, Ryan Vaughn will be a possibility if Ballard doesn't run. The bench isn't incredibly deep for the Republicans, but I'm sure there are some people that will step to the forefront. Look for City-County Councillors like Benjamin Hunter, Mike McQuillen (see yesterday's post) and Jeff Cardwell to play a role if Ballard steps away. I just predict that one or more won't sit on the sidelines if the Mayor's Office is open.
On the Democratic side, I've heard three names consistently mentioned as interested, and I'm adding in a wild card. I would ask them, but they would probably tell me they are interested in their jobs on the Council or elsewhere. Thus, I apologize in advance to them.
Let's begin with Councillors Brian Mahern and Vop Osili. Mahern and Osili would be strong candidates, and I've heard through back channels that either might be interested in running. Again, I haven't heard it from either of their mouths, so take this for what it's worth.
Another possiblity is John Layton. The Marion County Sheriff will have to get through a reelection campaign in 2014, and I'm sure that he won't even think about running for Mayor until after that. Still, he's built a solid record as Sheriff so far and has broad crossover appeal and respect from Republicans and Democrats. I've heard through back channels he's someone that might be interested.
I also get the feeling that Joe Hogsett isn't quite done yet, either. Hogsett pursued the office aggressively for quite a while in 2010 before dropping out of the running to clear the field for Melina Kennedy. Depending on what happens with President Barack Obama's reelection campaign, Hogsett may be looking for opportunities for 2015. He made a lot of friends in his run for Mayor, and he would also be an excellent candidate again. He can't do anything political until he's no longer U.S. Attorney.
There's a long way to go, and I'm sure things will begin to get more clear. That's what I'm hearing in the rumor mill. We'll see which rumors become truths and which ones are just rumors. If you're thinking of running and I missed you, sorry.