|Mayor Greg Ballard|
On Indianapolis This Week, political consultant Lara Beck, who normally represents the Democratic point-of-view, credited Mayor Ballard for his comments during his State of the City address about America breaking its dependency on foreign oil. She noted that this wasn't something that a mayor generally speaks out on, and that it might signal that Ballard is looking at other offices down the line.
Hearing that comment, the newest addition to the WRTV lineup of political commentators, Jennifer Hallowell, spoke up and talked about how this has been a passionate issue for the Mayor given his background and service overseas as a U.S. Marine. She also said that Ballard is "planning on" running for a third term in 2015. Hallowell served as a consultant to the Ballard campaign in 2011.
That is the most definitive signal we've heard from anyone associated with Ballard about his 2015 plans, and it makes sense. Why wouldn't Ballard run for reelection? There's no one in the Republican Party that's on the bench waiting to replace him other than maybe Ryan Vaughn. Jose Evans ran for mayor as a Democrat in 2011, and he's now a Republican. When 2015 rolls around, it will probably still be too soon for him to be the Republican nominee. After that, there's really no one. Ballard gives the Republicans the best chance to hold the office.
Now that we know Ballard's likely plans, it becomes critical for the Democrats to get a likable candidate with substance. Ms. Lewis? Mr. Hogsett? Mr. Mahern? Mr. Osili? Someone else? If Ballard is going to spend the next two years running for reelection, time to belly up to the bar with him.