INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 6, 2014)– Greg Ballard said not even a chance to host a second Super Bowl would have convinced him to seek another term as Indianapolis’ mayor.
“No, I don’t think so,” the Mayor said during a one-on-one interview with FOX59 in the mayoral conference room on the 25th floor of the City County Building. “I don’t think the decision would have been any different frankly. I hadn’t even thought about that actually. You’re the first one to ask me that.”
Ballard’s comments came two hours after he officially announced he would not seek re-election in November of 2015.
“Despite knowing that we could win again in 2015, today I’m announcing I am not seeking a third time as the mayor of Indianapolis,” the Mayor said to supporters, aides and media during an announcement at the City Market.
Ballard’s election was a surprise to many in 2007 when he defeated incumbent democrat Bart Peterson, riding the wave of a populist revolt over skyrocketing property taxes.
The former Marine said when he arrived in the mayor’s office he found the city was hemorrhaging cash and municipal services were deteriorating.
Ballard turned a deficit into a surplus, sold the water company for $800 million which rebuilt Indianapolis’ infrastructure, cut a deal with the Environmental Protection Agency to revamp the sewer and wastewater treatment systems to save ratepayers and the city one billion dollars and did it while the U.S. economy was backsliding.
That turnaround, said Ballard, will likely be his legacy.
“I think managing through the recession will be looked upon well in the future.”
The republican mayor also surprised many with his green agenda.
“I think the obvious things that people are going to go to are the connectivity, the cycling, the fleet conversion, those things will hang around. We really did not have sustainability per se until we became the mayor which I am very proud of.”
Ballard championed charter schools and named a deputy mayor of education. That interest in childhood development may give an indication as to his plans once he leaves office.
“I’ve talked to a couple of people now and some others want to talk to me and we’ll see. I wouldn’t mind education. That’s one of the things that I think people will talk about in the future, too, is how we’ve expanded the educational opportunities for kids.”
The Marion County Republican party took a drubbing at the hands of democrats in Tuesday’s general election.
Former U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett is expected to seek the democratic nomination for mayor as is current State Senator Ed Delaney.
No one has stepped up on the GOP side now that the two-term republican mayor is stepping down.
Ballard isn’t worried about the lack of an obvious successor.
“Well, you have to go back to ’07 right? At this same time did you even know who I was?” he asked. “So nobody did right? So you never really know what’s going to happen. You can run for two years and lose. You can run for six months like I did and win.”