INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 1, 2014)– Reverend Charles Harrison earned his street credibility walking some of Indianapolis’ toughest neighborhoods, keeping the peace after gang shootings while at the same time bringing calm to the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration downtown.
Now Harrison is considering whether that credibility could translate into a run for mayor.
“There’s a lot of people talking to me about the possibility of running for mayor and I’m kind of listening,” said Harrison.
Minutes after an exclusive one-on-one interview with FOX59 News, Harrison tweeted,
I have a very important meeting with some suburban pastors & business leaders this wk. Things r starting 2 get very interesting.
— Rev Dr Charles Harrison (@charlesharriso5) December 1, 2014
This is interesting for the pastor of Barnes United Methodist Church on the west side. It’s also interesting for the two democrats who have already declared themselves for mayor and the unnamed republican who has yet to step up.
“This is America and anybody who wants to put their name on the ballot ought to be applauded for doing so,” said former U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett, the democratic front-runner.
“We have the lowest turnout of any state in the Union, ok?” said State Representative Ed Delaney, an Indianapolis Democrat. “That’s embarrassing. And would it really help if we had one knighted candidate for mayor and nobody on the other side? Is that where we really want to be? I don’t want to be there, so I’m going to keep talking until I find out there’s some better alternative, ok?”
Not only is it OK with Harrison, he’s thinking he might be that alternative.
“If I decide to run, I’m running to win, and I would not get in it if I didn’t think I had a chance to win, so if I run, I’m running to win. I’m not running to just make a point,” said Harrison.
The point of a Harrison candidacy would be to force the other candidates to address the type of issues the pastor confronts everyday from the front door of his church near 29th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street.
“We start talking about the issues of education, the impact of crime and violence and its impact not just on the urban core but its impact on the city in general. We have high unemployment particularly in minority communities, particularly black males, and those issues have to be addressed.”
Marion County Democratic Party regulars fear Harrison, who has not decided whether to run as a democrat or independent, would siphon away votes intended for Hogsett.
“I don’t think any votes are democratic votes and republican votes,” he said. “I think any candidate that runs for public office has to earn those votes and has to earn the trust of the people to get those votes.
“I don’t think any candidate can lay claim to any group of voters.
“They see so much partisan politicking that the real issues of the city are not really addressed and I would reach across both aisles where we could find common ground where could agree on the important issues to bring solutions to make Indianapolis the best city in this country.”
Harrison said he will decide by mid-week whether to launch an exploratory committee, and his wife’s vote may be the most important.
“If I’m out there everyday fighting for the issues of the people, if I decide to run for public office and their issues are being heard, I feel like it would have been a successful campaign,” said Harrison.