By BRIAN A. HOWEY

INDIANAPOLIS - Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett is expected to kickoff his reelection campaign at the Phoenix Theater at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Hogsett returned the City-County Building to Democratic control after two terms by Republican Mayor Greg Ballard, who declined to seek a third term. 

In 2015, the former secretary of state defeated obscure Republican Chuck Brewer with 62%, winning 92,521 to 56,320. He ran on a law and order platform, though the city has been plagued by record homicide rates during his term. Hogsett has also faced declining infrastructure, pushing through and signing a $120 million road and infrastructure plan this fall. Informed and reliable sources tell HPI that Hogsett will not challenge Gov. Eric Holcomb in 2020. 

State Sen. Jim Merritt, who is also Marion County Republican chairman, is expected to mount a challenge to Hogsett in 2019. Merritt was reelected on Nov. 6 by a 51.4-48.6% margin over Democrat Derek Camp, 30,221 to 28,612. The Phoenix Theater doors will open to the public at 5:30 p.m. It is located at 705 N. Illinois St.