Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams drops out of Indianapolis mayoral race
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 5, 2015)– Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams, who announced last month he was in the running for his boss’ job, has decided to get out of the race.
Williams’ decision comes less than a week after Marion County republicans threw the weight of their slating convention behind political rookie Chuck Brewer, a downtown restaurant owner.
Sources close to Williams told FOX59 News that Mayor Greg Ballard, who announced in November he would not be running for a third term, was under increasing pressure from county republicans to ask his deputy mayor to step down or end his campaign.
The party’s hierarchy threw its endorsement and financial support behind Brewer, a former marine and business executive.
Williams was lining up grassroots support from precinct and township level republicans, said sources, who feared they would be targeted by the party leadership if they supported the internal challenger.
Williams’ exit before his campaign ever began opens the way for the Reverend Charles Harrison of the Ten Point Coalition to re-enter the race.
Harrison told FOX59 News that he would not run as long as Williams was still in the race, presumably through the party’s May primary.
The leader of Barnes United Methodist Church is considering an independent bid.
Williams will continue serving his role in the Ballard administration until the end of the year.
Williams released the following statement:
“Over the past three weeks I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of support from hundreds upon hundreds of individuals while exploring the potential to run for Mayor of our great city. After much prayer and consideration, my wife Mary, along with our family have decided not to enter into the upcoming Mayoral race.”
“I look forward to continuing working with our amazing team to improve our city by strengthening our neighborhoods, increasing economic development opportunities for all, bringing jobs to our city, and ensuring that children have an opportunity to the best education available. It has been a pleasure to serve the residents of Indianapolis as Deputy Mayor for the last seven years under Mayor Ballard, and I am looking forward to serving out the remainder of my appointment and finishing the great work we started.”