|Mayor Greg Ballard|
According to Advance Indiana blogger Gary Welsh, Ballard will not run for a third term, and an announcement will come as soon as this week. I'll wait to hear from the Mayor, but it will throw the Republican nomination wide open if Welsh is right.
Former State Senator and Indiana GOP Chair Murray Clark is rumored to be interested in the job. State Senator Jim Merritt has been making noise as well. There are also several other possible candidates that have been bandied around in discussion.
City-County Council Minority Leader Mike McQuillen, City-County Councillor Ben Hunter, City-County Councillor Christine Scales, former City-County Councillor Ike Randolph, Public Safety Director Troy Riggs and IMPD Police Chief Rick Hite have all been rumored at one point or another to be interested. Former Ballard Chief of Staff and Council President Ryan Vaughn seems like an unlikely candidate since he, by his own admission, has stepped away from politics. It also remains to be seen if good candidates like Robert Vane might be interested in a run.
Ballard bowing out would seemingly make Democratic front-runner Joe Hogsett the front-runner in the race. The only Democrat officially in the race right now, Ed DeLaney, alienated several potential supporters last week by taking a swipe on Facebook at an historic decision by the City-County Council to dedicate more money to Animal Care and Control for the care of the animals in their facility.
DeLaney used the decision to increase ACS funding in what I would consider a fallacious argument that the Council was putting "stray dogs" ahead of children by not funding the Mayor's Pre-K plan. Of course, the Mayor doesn't have a Pre-K plan in front of the Council, and the body did in fact set aside cash for a Pre-K plan. DeLaney tried to back away from the comment, but it seems the damage was done.
To be honest, I'm surprised the Mayor is making this announcement this week if he does. I expected he would wait until after the November 4 elections as to not be a distraction. That's what Hogsett hinted he's doing by not announcing his run.
We'll have to see how all this shakes out as we approach the 2015 election season.