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Charles Harrison says he won’t run for Indianapolis mayor despite petition drive

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INDIANAPOLIS (July 15, 2015) – The Rev. Charles Harrison will not run for mayor, he confirmed to FOX59 Wednesday morning.

Harrison formed an exploratory committee last year and then decided not to run. The matter seem settled until a mystery petition drive collected enough signatures to put him on the ballot as an independent candidate.

Harrison said he’d give the idea some “prayerful thought” before ultimately deciding not to run. Wednesday marked the deadline for Harrison to make a final decision.

Had Harrison elected to run, he would’ve been the wild card in a race already featuring Democrat Joe Hogsett and Republican Chuck Brewer.

In a statement Harrison released Wednesday, he called it a “difficult” decision not to run and believed he could best serve the community with his work at Barnes United Methodist and the Ten Point Coalition:

After much consideration, many discussions and hours of prayerful thought, I have decided not to run for Indianapolis Mayor in the 2015 election.

This decision was difficult for me and my family, especially given the great outpouring of support that was demonstrated in the petitions that contained more than 6,000 signatures. I thank you so much for your support and your trust in me.

I feel a strong calling to serve all the citizens of Indianapolis. As Mayor, I would have demonstrated this calling through a deep commitment to valuing all lives throughout our community, to improving public safety, and to creating an economic climate that leads to better job opportunities. I strongly encourage the remaining candidates in the race to address these issues directly, with solutions that are positive and forward-thinking.

At this time, I believe I can best serve our city by continuing my very rewarding work as Senior Pastor at Barnes United Methodist Church and President of the Board of Directors at the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition. Through these positions, I feel I can truly make a difference, without getting involved in the negativity and political pressures that come with elected office.

I am humbled by the kindness and counsel that have been provided to me as I wrestled with this decision. I shall continue to serve our community with concern and compassion, so that we all can live better lives.

Mayoral candidate Joe Hogsett also released a statement:

My friend Charles Harrison is deeply invested in this city and has dedicated his life to promoting peace on our streets. As federal prosecutor, I saw first-hand the impact his efforts have had in neighborhoods across our city. Whether through his shepherdship of Barnes United Methodist Church or the impactful work of the Ten Point Coalition, I am confident that Reverend Harrison will continue to play an important role in discussions as to how we can make Indianapolis a safer, stronger city for all.

Chuck Brewer also weighed in:

“I have incredible respect for Rev. Charles Harrison and he would have been a great competitor. I hope to sit down with Rev. Harrison soon to discuss his ideas for our city to ensure that his important voice is still included in the debate. Additionally, I call on Joe Hogsett to join me in pledging continued support for the Ten Point Coalition and their valuable work in our city for years to come.”