INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has confirmed he will run for reelection.

In a downtown news conference Tuesday, the Democratic Mayor announced he will be seeking a third (and final) term in November of 2023.

The announcement

In a speech in front of Indiana Democrats, Hogsett reflected on his most recent term while touching on the COVID-19 pandemic and his public works projects.

”Over the last four years we’ve solved a $50 million deficit, while passing every budget with broad bipartisan support,” Hogsett said.

Hogsett’s second term saw more impactful events than just the COVID-19 pandemic. In the summer of 2020 downtown Indy saw protests and riots. Indianapolis has also seen a climbing yearly homicide total with 2021 breaking the all time record with 271 homicides. That includes the mass shooting at the Fedex facility in April of 2021.

Introduced by his wife Stephanie, Hogsett made the announcement in front of his supporters and a crowd of “Mayor Joe” signs. The mayor said that he is focused on the future, touching on his plans to improve crime and city safety statistics.

”I feel passionately that we must finish this work because we know it’s working,” Hogsett said. “In the first year of our violence reduction plan we have already observed a 15% decrease in the number of criminal homicides and a 14% decrease in non fatal shootings.”

Hogsett also talked about transforming downtown Indy – starting with the City Market and going out.

”Where we gather tonight will soon be the most intensive residential district in the entire state,” Hogsett said,

Hogsett did also tease a new plan in the coming months for the Circle Center Mall. All the details he gave were it would be a partnership with state officials and honor the legacy of Herb and Mel Simon.

Hogsett told reporters in September he was planning to delay any re-election announcement pending passage of a bi-partisan City budget and until after the mid-term elections.

Two days after the polls closed, State Representative Robin Shackleford, a fellow Democrat from the east side, announced her bid for Hogsett’s job, putting heat on the incumbent to make his intentions known.

As of last January, Hogsett for Indianapolis, the mayor’s campaign organization, reported nearly $2.5 million in cash on hand, a figure that is certain to skyrocket past $3 million when election finance records are reported early next year.

The former Indiana Secretary of State and U.S. Attorney was elected to his mayoral position in 2015 after failed congressional, senate and attorney general campaigns. Hogsett recently said he has been fond of his current job.

“I’ve loved being mayor,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed the opportunity.”

Indy GOP response

The Indianapolis Republican party quickly responded to Hogsett’s announcement, saying the city is in need of a new direction.

“Two terms of Joe Hogsett as mayor of Indianapolis have delivered year after year of record violence and homicides, crumbling infrastructure, a failing downtown, undelivered public services, and struggling neighborhoods across our once thriving city.

Even Democrat Rep. Robin Shackleford described Joe Hogsett’s Indianapolis as a city with ‘…pothole-ridden streets where residents struggle to get enough to eat and worry that at any moment a stray bullet will travel through their wall and strike their child.’

Over the next year, residents of our capital city have to decide if the status quo of crime, crumbling streets, and inequity is acceptable, or if they want a new direction.”

Marion County Republican Central Committee Chairman Joe Elsener

Shackleford response

State Representative Robin Shackleford, the Democratic candidate challenging Hogsett’s reelection, offered a response in the wake of his announcement.

“I welcome the exchange of ideas that the coming months of the campaign will bring. As I said when I announced my candidacy, I am running for mayor because I am the right person to address the issues facing Indianapolis that have not been solved in the past eight years – issues such as tackling root causes of crime; creating a world class workforce; prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion; and increasing transportation connectivity and infrastructure. I bring legislative leadership, extensive knowledge about healthcare and the criminal justice system, and the experience of being a lifelong Indianapolis resident to the campaign. 

“I look forward to hearing from the citizens of Indianapolis about their biggest concerns and their ideas in the months leading up to the primary and I will be releasing specific policy proposals in the near future.” 

State Rep. Robin Shackleford