|Councillor Jeff Miller|
Today, we’ll cover District 16. The way this district is drawn has put incumbent Jeff Miller, a Republican, up against Democrat Emily Shrock. It’s about a 50/50 district that now includes not only the IUPUI campus but also the University of Indianapolis campus. The district takes in the Western part of Fountain Square and then goes down south to pick up part of Perry Township. On the West end, it picks up the Near-Westside and parts of Northern Mars Hill. In short, it’s a very diverse district.
At one end are the new developments and high-end real estate located on the Southside of downtown Indianapolis. On the far western reaches of the district, you have some traditionally-ignored neighborhoods that have big infrastructure needs and rescue from crime. It’s quite a remarkable bit of territory.
The old district Miller used to represent included the area around Garfield Park, and this new district has some of that area on the Westside of the park, but it’s definitely a bit of new territory for Miller on the far Northside of the district around IUPUI and on the far Southside of the district in Perry Township.
Shrock, a Deputy Prosecutor, has used that to her advantage by knocking, re-knocking, and knocking again on doors across the district. She’s worked incredibly hard, and I believe she would be a magnificent City-County Councillor. Miller, who is frankly a friend of mine, listens and works hard. He does his job and is a good Councillor, but many in this new area do not know him. Registration-wise the district is capable of swinging back Democrat. When he was elected to the Council in 2011, Miller defeated Democrat Dane Mahern in a tight race. I would expect another close race on Election Night 2015.
This may be a bellwether district to see what kind of coattails Joe Hogsett might have depending on the margin. A close win either way is expected. A blowout by Shrock will indicate Hogsett had coattails.
As in Districts 2 and 3, the fight in District 16 may come down to just a handful of votes in a traditionally low-turnout district. If you live in this district, you should definitely plan to get out and make your voice heard it literally could make the difference for one candidate or the other.