The Indiana Citizen
October 10, 2023
The Indy Chamber Business Advocacy Committee is endorsing Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett in the November municipal election, the only Democratic mayoral candidate the organization is supporting in central Indiana.
On Tuesday, the BAC announced its endorsements for mayor in 12 central Indiana cities, including Indianapolis. The group also is backing a mix of Democrat and Republican candidates in the races for the Indianapolis City-County Council.
“Our endorsements reflect our commitment to fostering a thriving business environment across Central Indiana through strong elected leadership and effective policymaking,” Adam Burtner, vice president of business advocacy at the Indy Chamber, said in a press release. “We believe these candidates possess the vision and dedication needed to fuel regional growth prosperity.
BAC endorsed Hogsett, who is seeking a third term as Indy mayor, over Republican Jefferson Shreve, a former city-county councilor and founder of Storage Express. Shreve has been endorsed by the political action committee of ReCenter Indiana, a bipartisan nonprofit working to restore centrist policies to the Hoosier state.
Also, BAC is endorsing the Republican candidates in the contested mayoral races in Carmel, Greenfield and Shelbyville. The incumbent mayors in those three cities are not running for reelection creating open seats and competitive races.
In Carmel, Sue Finkam, Republican, has picked up BAC’s support over Miles Nelson, Democrat. The race has become heated, according to reporting by The Indianapolis Star, because Finkam has refused to denounce Moms for Liberty, whose Hamilton County chapter gained national attention when it quoted Adolph Hitler in its June newsletter. The national organization has been named an extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
In Greenfield, BAC is endorsing Guy Titus, Republican, for mayor over Nate Anderson, Democrat, and Larry Silver Jr., Libertarian. Among the candidates for Shelbyville mayor, Scott Furgeson, Republican, got the BAC endorsement over the Democratic challenger Nicolas Weber.
BAC is also endorsing the following unopposed Republican mayoral candidates:
- Scott Fadness (Fishers)
- Steve Barnett (Franklin)
- Mark Myers (Greenwood)
- Matt Gentry (Lebanon)
- Kenny Costin (Martinsville)
- Chris Jensen (Noblesville)
- Scott Willis (Westfield)
- John Stehr (Zionsville)
The candidates were evaluated by BAC through interviews and research. Then the organization endorsed the candidates who supported the Indy Chamber’s priorities or has been a leader in the region’s business community.
In a press release, BAC stated the candidates it selected “have demonstrated their commitment to fostering regional collaboration among businesses, stakeholders, and communities with a shared vision of sustainable economic growth.”
BAC endorsed Indianapolis City-County Council candidates in 19 of the 25 districts. Of the six districts in which BAC did not make an endorsement, Districts 13, 23 and 24 have competitive races, while District 6 and 8 have unopposed Democratic candidates and District 22 has an unopposed Republican candidate.
The organization stated it selected the council candidates who have developed “robust and effective” plans for Marion County and who support the Indy Chamber’s priorities, including the revitalization of downtown through the establishment of an economic enhancement district and housing for the homeless.
The city-council endorsements are:
- District 1: Leroy Robinson (D)
- District 2: Brienne Delaney (D)
- District 3: Dan Boots (D)
- District 4: Natalie Goodwin (R)
- District 5: Maggie Lewis (D)
- District 7: John Barth (D)
- District 9: Keith Graves (D)
- District 10: Ali Brown (D)
- District 11: Crista Carlino (D)
- District 12: Vop Osili (D)
- District 14: Andy Nielsen (D)
- District 15: La Keisha Jackson (D)
- District 16: Jessica McCormick (D)
- District 17: Jared Evans (D)
- District 18: Kristin Jones (D)
- District 19: Frank Mascari (D)
- District 20: Michael-Paul Hart (R)
- District 21: Josh Bain (R)
- District 25: Brain Mowery (R)
“Local leaders play a pivotal role in shaping the future of our communities, with Mayors and City Councils influencing decisions directly impacting our businesses, neighborhoods, and daily lives,” Burtner said in the press release. “Yet municipal elections see the lowest voter turnout of any election cycle. I urge all business leaders and residents of the Indy Region to engage in these races and, above all, vote!”