INDIANAPOLIS - Republicans will no longer control the mayor's post in Indianapolis and they're still in the minority on the City-County Council. But the head of Marion County Republicans says his party isn’t in trouble after its big loss in local elections Tuesday.
Republican voters have been fleeing Indy for surrounding counties, says Marion County Republican chair Kyle Walker, "so it’s increasingly more difficult for Republicans to win, particularly countywide," he said in an interview.
But Walker says there are still races they can be successful in. "Our challenge is to identify those that we can win and allocate the resources there," he said.
Unsuccessful Republican mayoral candidate Chuck Brewer told WFYI days before the election there’s a tension between the state GOP and Republicans here in Indy.
"I hear it all at the state level and the national level, but you cannot be a hardcore one party or another in Indianapolis and succeed," Brewer said in an interview.
The man retiring from the top post at city hall, Republican Mayor Greg Ballard, says he and other big-city Republican mayors are concerned about a rift between them and the national party.
"Worried that the national party is not addressing the feelings, the needs of urban residents. And I think we’re going to struggle until we figure that piece out," said Ballard the day after the election.
Republicans like Brewer and Ballard, Walker said, are more focused on issues important to Indy residents than hot button national issues and getting that message across to Marion County voters can be a challenge.