In its “Behind Closed Doors” column, the Star reported that Ballard is thinking about his political future, but that he isn’t revealing his plans. He likely won’t run for another office and repeated the “I will run if I still think there’s work left to do” nonsense he’s said before.
I don’t know how he can’t run. As the incumbent, Ballard gives his Republican Party its best chance at retaining an office that is becoming more and more difficult to hold on to. If he wants proof of that, he needs to only look around. Other than judges, there are no Republican countywide elected officeholders in Marion County any longer. He’s it. He has the fundraising advantage of incumbency and the advantage of the bully pulpit.
That could also be a disadvantage. Ballard clearly won’t be the same candidate in 2015 as he was in 2007 or even in 2011. He keeps asking for more and more of the taxpayers’ hard earned money. He said he wouldn’t do that in the past. The recent decision to not honor the raises of the police officers and firefighters he negotiated and the way public safety continues to be perceived as a problem for the Mayor hurts his case.
He also isn’t certain what Democrat he’ll be running against. While U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett is a possibility and City-County Councillors like Vop Osili and Maggie Lewis may attempt a run, it’s hard for Ballard to even see where he might fit.
I actually think it’s wise to play it coy for a few more months. After all, we have two full years until the Mayor’s race will be on the front burner of most Indy residents. There’s still plenty of time for Ballard to announce his plans.
Personally, I bet he runs.