Joe Hogsett and Chuck Brewer’s final and longest debate before Tuesday’s mayoral election focused largely on issues of Indianapolis’ minority community.
The Democratic and Republican candidates appeared on Amos Brown’s radio program on WTLC Friday afternoon. Brown got through several questions, mostly focusing on the needs and concerns of the city's Hispanic and African-American communities.
"I’ve met with lots of people in the community. My approach as a leader is and always has been, very inclusive. I plan to continue that trend," said Republican candidate Chuck Brewer.
Democrat Joe Hogsett says he’ll be accessible to all. "And will be responsive to all. So to the extent that has not been the case in the past, that too will change," he said.
The two were asked about the future for African-American Indianapolis police chief, Rick Hite. Hogsett praised Hite’s work, but was non-committal about his status.
"As it relates, if elected, to who would be named police chief, I think most law enforcement officials would tell you that in the context of a political campaign, to make those kind of decisions would be premature," Hogsett said.
But Brewer put full confidence in Hite. "I really don’t know how to straddle fences on answers like this. I have great respect for Chief Hite," Brewer said. "I like him, I want him to be my chief and I’m going to keep him around. Period."
Brewer and Hogsett are vying to replace retiring Mayor Greg Ballard, a Republican who served two terms. This was their third debate. They also appeared several times at community forums over the last two months.
On increasing the amount of affordable housing, Brewer said he would encourage developers to include affordable units in their projects. Brewer noted he rents his home, and is well aware of the high costs of rent and utility bills.
Hogsett said there is a "critical need" for more affordable housing units in Indy. He'd encourage neighborhood housing partnerships to be more aggresive in promoting affordable housing development.