Primary mayoral races in Indianapolis, Beech Grove and Greenwood are the main attractions for election day voters Tuesday in municipalities on the Southside.
A homegrown candidate from Perry Township – businessman Jefferson Shreve – is among four candidates seeking to be the Republican mayoral candidate in the General Election on Nov. 7. Shreve is on the ballot with political commentator and lawyer Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, northeastside church Rev. James Jackson, and John Crouch, a four-time candidate for public office.
Shreve grew up on the Southside in Perry Township and went on to graduate from Indiana University in 1989 and from the University of London in 1998. He and his wife Mary are prominent donors to I.U. He also owns his grandmother’s home in University Heights, making him a candidate with a vested interest in the Southside.
His primary campaign is mostly self-funded, having sold Storage Express which he founded and sold for $590 million recently.
In his primary campaign, Shreve has been critical of incumbent Democrat Mayor Joe Hogsett’s leadership. Shreve’s platform is based on public safety, a decrease in violent crime, making the city safe, and retaining and expanding police officers.
Shreve has served twice on the City-Council. He ran in 2016 in the GOP primary against Jack Sandlin for the State Senate District 36 seat that Sandlin won in the general election.
Hogsett, seeking a third term, is opposed in the primary by paralegal and perennial candidate Bob Kern, Indiana House of Representatives member Robin Shackelford, former IPS school board candidate Larry Vaughn, Gregory Meriweather who has unofficially withdrawn but whose name will be on the ballot, and education administrator Cliff Marsiglio who has since supported Shackelford’s candidacy.
Voters in the Indianapolis Public Schools can vote for or against a $410 million capital referendum for upgrades for 20 IPS buildings, transforming the former Howe High School campus into a middle school, and grade-level restructuring.
In Beech Grove, the Democratic primary race for mayor is between heavily favored businessman James Coffman, owner of Eckstein Shoes, and James (Jay) Wright, owner of Jay’s Home Remodeling, LLC. The winner will face unopposed Republican primary candidate Rick Skirvin in the general election.
The Democrat primary race for clerk-treasurer is between Rob Challis and Samantha S. Stratton. The winner faces Republican candidate Celena Jared in the general election. Two district races find Kelsey Behl and Phillip Davis in a District 2 bid and Jimmy Blice and Jonathan Broadwell in District 5. The winner faces Republicans Ryan Matkins (District 2) and Michael Earnest (District 5).
One GOP race for Southport Council District 4 pits incumbent Larry Tunget against Kristin Harris.
In Greenwood, incumbent Mayor Mark W. Myers is running for a fourth term in office and faces opposition from former Center Grove school board member Joe Hubbard.
Myers is a lifelong Greenwood resident who has served on the Greenwood fire department and as a former city police officer for several years. Hubbard, whose Greenwood residency was questioned but verified, is a former Center Grove school board member, a small business owner and former U.S. Air Force veteran.
Campaigning has been intense between the two Republican mayoral candidates.
Myers has touted the city’s steady growth under his leadership, the city’s balanced budgets and continued emphasis on public safety with a well-staffed police and fire department, infrastructure improvements, attractive parks and recreation facilities, and private-public development.
Hubbard claims that the city is ready for new leadership and lists his priorities as public safety and protecting small businesses from tax breaks that larger corporations and developers have received from the city council.
Six elected incumbents (I) face primary opposition in the Republican primary in Greenwood:
City Judge – Lewis Gregory (I) vs. Drew Foster; City Council District 1 - Linda Gibson (I) vs. Hurley Davis and Robin Klutzke; CC Dist. 4 – Ron Bates (I) vs. Robert B. (Bob) Lyn, Teri Manship; CC Dist. 5 – J. David Hopper (I) vs. Dale Q. Marmaduke; and at-large (select three) – Erin Maurine Betron (I), Mike Campbell (I) vs. Bogdan John Golinski, Jarrett Law, Steve Moan, Brian L. Moore, Ronald B. Palmer.
In Whiteland, two contested seats are up for grabs in the Republican primary. Incumbent David Hawkins is opposed by plan commission member Matthew Tim Brown in Ward 1 and incumbent business owner Brad Goedeker is opposed by council member Scot Ford.
Polls are open Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Registered voters must have valid state or federal-issued photo ID.