INDIANAPOLIS - The Hogsett for Indianapolis campaign committee announced its 2018 annual fundraising filing Wednesday, reporting more than $1.1 million raised during the year with more than $3.2 million cash-on-hand ahead of the 2019 campaign cycle. The figures for last year continue a string of strong fundraising periods for Mayor Joe Hogsett’s reelection effort, and include contributions from more than 400 individual supporters and hundreds of low-dollar donors. For the period from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018, the Hogsett for Indianapolis campaign raised $1,105,529.68. At the close of the reporting period, cash-on-hand totaled $3,226,413.50. “While we are heartened at the continued level of direct support for Mayor Joe Hogsett’s reelection, it has been even more exciting to watch as grassroots energy builds behind this campaign,” said Heather K. Sager, campaign spokesperson. “From the beginning, Mayor Hogsett has run on his vision of a city that works for all of our residents. This report shows that hundreds of Indianapolis working families are stepping forward to say, ‘We need Joe.’”

Merritt blasts Hogsett over homicides

State Sen. Jim Merritt is calling for new leadership in the wake of an out-of-control homicide rate. He released the following comments: “We’re just over two weeks into the new year and Indianapolis is already losing the battle again. For each of the past three years, through Mayor Hogsett’s entire term, the annual homicide rate in our great city has reached record highs. Here we go again. Yesterday, we had another homicide happen in broad daylight right in front of our local federal office building. This wasn’t in some back alley or hidden away from view. It happened in the middle of our vibrant downtown, where tens of thousands live, work and relax. According to CBS News, in 2017, Indianapolis ranked 16th in the nation in per capita homicides. That was worse than Washington, D.C.; Oakland, Ca.; and Atlanta, Ga. We can’t let this continue to happen. Our reputation as a city is one of friendliness and safety, and yet the statistics seem to show otherwise. Mayor Hogsett campaigned as a ‘public safety’ mayor, but has failed to increase manpower at IMPD as he had promised. As mayor, I will make police recruitment a top priority. We need new leadership in Indianapolis.”

Mayor Winnecke posts $614.000

With no Democrat challenger in the wings, Republican Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke posted $614,000 in campaign funds as he seeks a third term.

Galligan running in Jeffersonville again

Former Jeffersonville Mayor Tom Galligan will seek the office he had for 12 years (News & Tribune). He lost to current Republican Mayor Mike Moore in 2011. “I have been watching how everything has been going and I don’t think they’re going in the right direction,” said Galligan.

Kokomo Mayor Goodnight retiring

Kokomo Mayor Goodnight gathered his supporters on Monday for what many believed would be a campaign kickoff. Instead they got a bombshell, with Goodnight saying he wouldn’t run while castigating Republican Tyler Moore and Democrat Kevin Summers who had already declared. “We have all seen politicians hang around too long and become stale,” said Goodnight, who was vague about his future but clear that he will not work for the city of Kokomo in any capacity. (Myers, Kokomo Tribune) “Often, important issues become more about personality conflicts. That is never good for a community.” Goodnight told the Tribune he had been mulling his future. Asked who knew, Goodnight said, “A few people, not very many.” Kokomo Deputy Mayor David Tharp will not run for mayor, he told the Tribune minutes after Goodnight’s bombshell speech. “I’ll give you the same answer I’ve given you for years — I’m not running,” said Tharp. The Kokomo Common Council has two members who have run for mayor, president Bob Hayes in 2007 and vice president Mike Kennedy in 1995 and 1999, and a first-term councilman who found the spotlight during his early months on the council. Elected in November 2015, Democrat Steve Whikehart revealed in January 2016 that he was working on legislation to amend the city’s human rights municipal code to include LGBT protections. By March 2016, that legislation, sponsored by Whikehart, had been approved by the council and signed by Goodnight. When asked Monday night whether he will run for mayor, Whikehart said: “Everything is on the table. There’s a lot for my family to discuss. We still have 25 days [until the Feb. 8 filing deadline].” Hayes gave a similar, but less clear response in a text message: “Everything on the table???” He did not respond to requests for additional comment. Kennedy said he will not run for mayor; instead, he will file reelection paperwork for his at-large council seat Thursday.

Moore reacts to Goodnight decision

Howard County Commissioner Tyler Moore, the only Republican mayoral candidate to emerge so far, was hit Monday night with personal insults and professional accusations during Goodnight’s speech (Kokomo Tribune). The sitting mayor said Moore’s “decade of elected office amounts to little more than a cynical joke, played at taxpayer expense.” He also asked Moore to disclose “how much county taxpayer money gets funneled to” the family-owned Moore Title & Escrow. Moore, who rebuffed Goodnight’s call for him to step out of the race, responded in a statement sent to local media Tuesday morning. “Like most of our community, I was surprised by Mayor Goodnight’s announcement that he is choosing not to run for another term of office,” said Moore. “Although we have not agreed politically on many of the pressing issues here in Kokomo, I was looking forward to a fair and respectful yet spirited debate with him on the concerns facing our citizens. On behalf of my family, I want to thank Mayor Goodnight for his hard work and dedication to our great city. We wish Mayor Goodnight and his family only the very best in their future endeavors.”

Tyler won’t run in Muncie

Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler announced he won’t seek another term. The 76-year-old Democrat becomes the first of his party in 106 years not to seek reelection. Republican Muncie Councilman Dan Ridenour is running for mayor. Ridenour has a 34 plus years of management and finance experience including being an officer with three different publicly traded companies. He is currently an AVP, Regional Retail Lending Manager at Muncie-based Mutual Bank. His duties include directing the lending activities of the Central Region which includes 13 financial centers in five counties. Outside of work, Dan enjoys spending time with his family. Dan and his wife, Sherry, have four children and three grandchildren. Republican Nate Jones is Delaware County’s veterans affairs officer and Democrat Andrew Dale is a design and construction management consultant whose great-grandfather and great-uncle were both Muncie mayors.

2 file in South Bend

The scramble to replace Pete Buttigieg as mayor intensified on Friday, with a second candidate officially announcing a run and three others taking big steps toward joining the race (Parrott, South Bend Tribune). Oliver Davis, the South Bend Common Council vice president, on Friday morning filed the paperwork at the county clerk’s office making him an official Democratic candidate for the May primary. Davis said his campaign will focus on helping the city’s neighborhoods and also on building business “not only downtown but throughout the city of South Bend.” He said he would work to assure city residents have better access to department heads and the mayor’s office. Davis is the second Democratic candidate to file for the mayoral race. Earlier this week, Shane Inez, 19, a cellphone store owner, was the first Democratic candidate to file. Also on Friday, another Common Council member, Regina Williams-Preston, D-District 2, announced she was forming a committee to explore a possible run for the mayor’s office. She is a South Bend native and a South Bend public school teacher.

Roberson announces for Elkhart mayor

Rod Roberson, a former sports star and city councilman, announced Wednesday he is running for mayor of Elkhart, making him the first candidate to publicly begin his campaign since incumbent Mayor Tim Neese ended his bid for a second term (South Bend Tribune). Roberson, a Democrat, served on the Elkhart Common Council from 2000 through 2015, when he decided not to seek a fifth term. A city native, Roberson was an all-state basketball and football player at Elkhart Central High School and later played both sports at Northwestern University, where he graduated with an economics degree. After a career in the private sector, Roberson served as executive director of Church Community Services, an Elkhart nonprofit focused on poverty, and has most recently been director of co-curricular programming for Elkhart Community Schools. 

Seabrook running in New Albany

Mark Seabrook has announced he will run for the Republican New Albany mayor nomination (News & Tribune). “We will listen,” Seabrook said of his plans to take on Democrat New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan. Seabrook has served three terms on the New Albany Council.

FOP endorses Jensen in Noblesville

The Noblesville Fraternal Order of Police Officers Lodge #198 announced their endorsement of Chris Jensen for mayor of Noblesville. “Lodge #198, after careful and deliberate consideration, officially announces its support and endorsement of Noblesville mayoral candidate Chris Jensen,” the FOP said in their statement. 

Nappanee’s Jenkins seeks reelection

Nappanee Mayor Phil Jenkins announced this week that he will seek reelection this coming election season (Elkhart Truth). In a press release, he stated that, “Over the past three years, I have been honored and humbled to serve the great citizens of Nappanee.”