May 3, 2023 - Election

Primary election results: Carmel, Westfield mayoral races

Voters were electing new mayors in Carmel and Westfield. Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Close races topped the ticket in Carmel and Westfield as voters considered who they want as their next mayor.

Why it matters: Both suburban cities are starting new eras this year, as longtime leaders retire.

In Carmel, Sue Finkam won a competitive Republican mayoral primary that nearly split the electorate into equal thirds.

  • Finkam netted 36% of the vote, while Kevin "Woody" Rider and Fred Glynn — separated by just 44 votes — each garnered 32%.

What's next: Finkam will face Miles Nelson, who ran unopposed on the Democratic ticket, in the November general election.

  • The candidates are vying to replace Republican Mayor Jim Brainard, who is stepping down after seven terms.

In Westfield, voters presumptively elected Scott Willis to be their next mayor last night.

  • Willis, a retired U.S. Marine colonel who runs an executive search firm and real estate company, defeated fellow city councilor Jake Gilbert by fewer than 250 votes in the GOP primary.
  • Kristen Burkman, the first woman to run for mayor in Westfield, finished in a distant third place with less than 13% of the vote.

What's next: No Democrats were on the ballot, so Willis is expected to succeed Mayor Andy Cook, who is leaving office after four terms.

Of note: Mayoral incumbents in Fishers and Noblesville were unopposed in their primaries. Scott Fadness, in Fishers, and Chris Jensen, in Noblesville, also have no challengers for the general election, making them the presumptive winners.


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