INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Embattled City-County Councilman Stephen Clay stepped down effective Monday at noon because he said being shunned by the Marion County Democratic Party left his constituents at a disadvantage during the upcoming city budget season.
Clay told FOX59 that after his more than year-long struggle with the party leadership he learned he was locked into, “A battle you wasn’t gonna win.”
Clay ruffled party feathers when he was elected council president in January of 2018 with Republican help to succeed incumbent Maggie Lewis.
The north side minister proceeded to disassemble the council administration, firing the council’s attorney, clerk and deputy clerk.
Lawsuits returned the clerks to their posts and Clay was soon ousted by his own party and replaced by Councilman Vop Osili.
Clay said his attempt to share power with Republicans on the power struck a blow against the Democratic super majority, ousted Lewis and made Osili’s council presidency possible.
The council begins debating and writing the municipal budget in August for October ratification and Clay said his ouster from the party caucus, where many budget discussions and updates take place, left him potentially uninformed about the city’s spending plans.
Clay said he would continue to play a public role through his associations with the Concerned Clergy and the Baptist Ministers Alliance.
Clay’s resignation leaves open the possibility of a Democratic Party nomination process to temporarily fill the now empty seat on the council until a successor is chosen by voters in November.
Rev Stephen clay tells me he resigned today from city county council because of democrats refusal to let him sit in caucus meetings puts budget input at peril and voters deserve better pic.twitter.com/BOY7wSEBF0
— Russ McQuaid (@RussMcQuaidNews) June 3, 2019