NewsPublic Affairs / November 5, 2019

Democrats Draw Significant Wins In Local Elections

Democrats Draw Significant Wins In Local Elections

Democrat Joe Hogsett was reelected Mayor of Indianapolis.

Darian Benson/WFYI
Darian Benson and Erica Irish

Updated Nov. 6, 2019 at 3:24 p.m.

Democrat Joe Hogsett will serve another term as Mayor of Indianapolis.

He beat out candidates Republican State Sen. Jim Merritt and Libertarian Douglas McNaughton, unofficially collecting more than 71 percent of the vote.

Hogget declared victory just after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday when he took the stage and said Merritt called him to concede with just over 70 percent of poll results in.

“I am humbled, I am honored, and I could not possibly be more excited to serve as the mayor of Indianapolis for another four years," Hogsett said.

He thanked Merritt for bringing attention to important issues during the race.

“Having known Jim for 40 years, I know that he is now capable of becoming the champion for the numerous legislative changes he supported during this campaign,” Hogsett said.

Merritt launched his campaign with a speech that touched on homicides in the city, and followed it with press conferences on food security, affordable housing and infrastructure.

In debates the candidates agreed these are priorities but differed on solutions.

In his concession speech Merritt said he loves Indianapolis.

“And I will do anything I can from the Indiana Senate to make it a better place to live,” Merritt said. “It’s been really a joy to get to know the city I’ve lived in for 60 years. Every nook, every corner, I explored.”

Democrats won by large margins in the Indianapolis City-County Council and look to claim six new council seats.

District 13 Democrat Keith Graves, who was appointed to the seat in June and held it Tuesday against Republican Jay Thompson, says there’s no place for partisanship.

“We need to continue to work together because we do have an entire city that we need to make sure we are focused on as a unit,” he says.

The Democratic winning streak continued in other Central Indiana races where candidates took over seats traditionally held by Republicans.

In Zionsville, Democrat Emily Styron held an 88 vote lead against Republican Mayor Tim Haak, according to unofficial results Tuesday.

Democrats also won seats on two separate city councils in Hamilton County. In Carmel, Miles Nelson beat Republican Debra Minott. In Fishers, Jocelyn Ware won an at-large seat and Samantha DeLong beat incumbent Republican Eric Moeller.

In other parts of Marion County, two mayoral races were decided Tuesday by 2 percent margins, according to unofficial results.

Beech Grove incumbent Democratic Mayor Dennis Buckley collected 67 more votes that challenger Republican Rick Skirvin, winning 51 percent to 49 percent.

Lawrence incumbent Republican Mayor Steve Collier held on to defeat challenger Democrat Jamar Cobb-Dennard with a 51 percent to 49 percent split.

WFYI's Eric Weddle contributed to this report.

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