IN Focus: Hogsett, Merritt, party leaders discuss mayoral election results

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett will get another term in office, after defeating State Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) by more than forty points in Tuesday's mayoral election.

Fresh off his re-election victory, Hogsett stopped by FOX59 to talk about his hopes for the next four years.

"I think the last 4 years we've accomplished a lot," said Hogsett. "There's more work to do, and that's what we intend to do over the next four years."

"I think we did a really great job of raising issues in this campaign," said Merritt. "We all know we’re struggling with crime, we all know we are struggling with infrastructure. I’m really proud of our campaign effort."

But the mayoral race wasn't the only loss for local Republicans,as Democrats won all but five council races to earn a commanding 20-5 majority.

"It gives us opportunities, having that difference, and carries with it certain challenges," said Hogsett. "But as Democrats, we've never experienced that before."

"We had a tough night, but there are better days ahead," said county GOP chair Cindy Kirchhofer in an email to local Republicans.

Meantime, local Democrats also made gains in the suburbs, winning the mayoral race in Zionsville, and council races in Fishers and Carmel.

“It’s undeniable, the suburbs are up for grabs in 2020,” said John Zody, state party chairman for the Indiana Democratic party. “Big wins in 2019 cement the 5th Congressional District’s status as a battleground next year. Anyone who says otherwise isn’t paying attention.”

Meanwhile, the state party chairman for the Indiana GOP said it was a historic night for his party overall, winning a record 70 mayoral races across the state.

"While yesterday was a historic day for Hoosier Republicans, we’re not ignoring those races where we came up short," said GOP chairman Kyle Hupfer. "We made unprecedented gains in mayoral races across the state... This is a testament to the strength of our candidates, the hard work and support of the state party, and the organization and enthusiasm of grassroots Republican volunteers in all corners of our state."

Republican Tyler Moore won the race for Kokomo mayor in a landslide, defeating Democrat Abbie Smith.

Moore replaces Greg Goodnight, who decided not to run for re-election.

"There was really more of a public outcry to address some of the increase in violent activity here in Kokomo," said Moore.

Meantime in Muncie, Republican Dan Ridenour easily defeated Democratic opponent Terry Whitt Bailey.

Ridenour will replace Mayor Dennis Tyler, who decided not to seek re-election.

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