The Indiana Citizen
September 14, 2023
The political action committee of ReCenter Indiana, a bipartisan nonprofit focused on restoring centrist politics in the Hoosier state, is endorsing Republican Jefferson Shreve for Indianapolis mayor, describing him as thoughtful and nuanced and citing his assertion that he will have a better chance of “working productively” with the GOP supermajority in the Statehouse.
In an announcement made Thursday, the nonprofit’s PAC is also endorsing Democratic Stephanie Terry to be mayor of Evansville and Republican Sue Finkam for Carmel mayor.
ReCenter, founded in 2022, is two separate organizations with a mission of moving Indiana politics close to the middle. One organization, ReCenter Indiana, Inc., is a 501(c)3 focused on voter education and the other is the ReCenter Indiana PAC.
The ReCenter Indiana PAC made the endorsements for mayor after researching and interviewing the candidates during the summer. The PAC’s committee members also interviewed the Republican candidate in Evansville, Natalie Rascher, and the Democratic candidate in Carmel, Miles Nelson.
All the interviews can be viewed by visiting the ReCenter website.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, who is running for a third term, did not make himself available to the committee for an interview. ReCenter said Hogsett, a Democrat, deprived Indianapolis voters of the opportunity to see and hear his and Shreve’s “unscripted responses, side by side, to a parallel set of questions.”
Evansville Libertarian candidate, Michael Daugherty, also did not sit for an interview with the committee.
Neither the Hogsett nor the Shreve campaign responded to a request for comment by The Indiana Citizen’s deadline.
A key to the mayoral endorsements was the experience all three candidates had working across the aisle. That was seen as particularly significant for Shreve, a former member of the Indianapolis City-County Council, since Indianapolis has been hampered in addressing some issues by the Indiana General Assembly.
“On issues ranging from localized gun restrictions to downtown pedestrian safety, the Indiana General Assembly has been bent on obstructing rather than assisting Indianapolis,” the Shreve endorsement from the ReCenter Indiana PAC stated. “Our capital city deserves better; its economic and cultural energy are vital to the entire state.”
Even so, the ReCenter PAC acknowledged Shreve’s Republican credentials provide no guarantee he will be able to get GOP legislators to listen.
“Mayor Hogsett has struggled without success against the legislature’s actions to limit home rule,” the endorsement stated. “Shreve says he’ll stand a better chance of working productively with his fellow Republicans who hold the reins of power at the state level. We hope he’s right about that.”
ReCenter’s PAC lauded Finkam’s three terms on the Carmel City Council and her background in business, founding a marketing agency, as well as her work in several community service organizations.
“We expect Finkam will leverage her collaborative leadership approach to build on Carmel’s success and that she will seek broader input and engagement from Carmel’s increasingly diverse residents,” the ReCenter PAC stated in its endorsement.
Terry’s 12-year tenure on the Vanderburgh County Council was also seen as giving her a better understanding of government and public funding. Also, ReCenter’s PAC viewed her leadership as the executive director of the Children’s Museum of Evansville as valuable.
“Terry brings to the race a commitment to serving all of Evansville inclusively,” the ReCenter PAC stated in the endorsement. “Her extensive experience working both across the aisle and within the community should particularly equip her to serve this increasingly diverse city.”
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to clarify the ReCenter Indiana PAC is making the mayoral endorsements.
Dwight Adams, a freelance editor and writer based in Indianapolis, edited this article. He is a former content editor, copy editor and digital producer at The Indianapolis Star and IndyStar.com, and worked as a planner for other newspapers, including the Louisville Courier Journal.