INDIANAPOLIS -- Prominent Indianapolis pastor Rev. Charles Harrison hasn’t made a decision yet on if he’ll run for mayor, a week from the filing deadline, but an online petition effort has him again seriously considering the entrance into politics.
Harrison first considered running over the winter, forming an exploratory committee, but tabled it while Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams, a close friend, briefly mounted a candidacy. An online effort Harrison said he wasn’t a part of collected enough signatures to get him on the ballot.
"If I wanted to run, I would have run myself," he said Wednesday. "I don’t need no ‘Run Rev Run’ petition to get me on the ballot. If I wanted to run, I could have gotten the signatures, I could have gotten 20,000 signatures."
That’s because of the strength of the faith-community in Indianapolis and its feeling of neglect from city officials, he said.
"The voice of the less fortunate in this city is not being heard. And I think a lot of people want to see a mayor that’s going to put the people first, above politics," Harrison said.
Harrison would enter the field as an independent, changing the dynamic of the race between Democrat Joe Hogsett and Republican Chuck Brewer. Harrison could pull support from the city's Democratic voice.
People what a mayor that will "do what's right and is not what's right and not be bound by this Democratic, Republic label, that promotes the idealogy above what's best for the people," Harrison said.
Harrison, 55, has been a pastor in a crime-ridden northwest side neighborhood since 1993. He runs the Barnes United Methodist Church on West 30th Street, near Martin Luther King Jr. Street. He's risen to prominence through his work with the Ten Point Coalition, a faith-based group working to reduce violent crime.
People constantly tell him he should run for mayor, he said, but the time he could devote to his wife and two daughters as mayor will be a major factor in his decision, as will be his faith.