By BRIAN A. HOWEY
INDIANAPOLIS – Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski and West Lafayette Mayor
John Dennis are the latest incumbents to signal they will seek
reelection in 2015. With the mid-term elections over, mayoral races
across Indiana are beginning to take shape. In Indianapolis, all eyes are on State Sen.
Jim Merritt, who is pouring through election results since 1999 to gauge
whether he can be competitive against Democrat Joe Hogsett or Ed
DeLaney. A new name surfacing in GOP circles is Councilman Jefferson
Shreve. In Bloomington where Mayor Mark Kruzan announced last week he would not seek a fourth term, there is speculation that former IVY Tech chancellor John Whikehart is mulling a run. Kruzan appointed Whikehart deputy mayor and has hinted that he has a successor in mind.
Here are how other mayoral races are beginning to shape up for 2015:
Anderson: Republican Mayor Kevin Smith regained the
office he lost in 2007, defeating Democrat Mayor Kris Ockomon 6,030 to
5,626, and a rematch is likely. Ockomon faced a number of controversies
but was cleared of any criminal violations.
Angola: Mayor Dick Hickman announced earlier this month he will seek another term in office in 2015.
Bedford: Independent Mayor Shawna Girgis will seek a
third term. She is overseeing a $19 million downtown revitalization
project after Bedford was selected as a Stellar Community in 2013.
Bloomington: Mayor Kruzan won’t
seek a fourth term. Kruzan told WFIU’s “Ask the Mayor”
program last week, “When I thought about it, I realized only one other
mayor has served more years than I have and there’s a reason for that.
You have a short shelf life for being mayor and for me, it’s been 30
years in elected politics. I’ve just been blessed by this community.” With
Mayor Kruzan opting out of a reelection bid, this could open up a
competitive Democratic primary. A new name surfacing his Whikehart, who Kruzan appointed deputy mayor.
John Hamilton, nephew of former congressman Lee Hamilton, ran
unsuccessfully against Kruzan in the 2011 Democratic primary, losing
3,507 to 2361. “I haven’t thought about that. It’s a good time to digest
this and thank him for his service,” Hamilton told the Bloomington
Herald-Times. “I’m proud to have run four years ago and talked about
issues that are important to Bloomington, but I’m not thinking about
that right now.” Monroe County Councilman Rick Dietz told the
Herald-Times, “Yes, I am giving it some consideration.”