Joe Hogsett beats Republicans' best shot
The most expensive mayoral election in Indianapolis history ended the same way as the last two: with Democrat Joe Hogsett victorious.
State of play: Republican businessman Jefferson Shreve drew down more than $13.5 million from his personal fortune and hit Hogsett with a nine-month barrage of campaign ads slamming his record on public safety, only to get trounced.
- Hogsett was winning nearly 60% of the votes with 99% of precincts reporting as of late Tuesday.
Between the lines: After saying he'd stop at two terms, Hogsett ran for re-election on a redemption mission, of sorts, to reclaim an agenda derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic and rioting that scarred downtown in 2020.
What they're saying: Hogsett emphasized the work yet to be done.
- "The pandemic has not denied us the progress Indianapolis deserves, but things have undeniably been delayed," he said in a victory speech.
- "Now the voters have spoken and they have given us the chance to deliver on those challenges that yet remain. Because there are guns to get off of our streets. There is affordable housing to build. There are students to support, small businesses to empower."
The other side: While DJ Grapevine was running back "Celebration" by Kool & the Gang for a jubilant crowd at the Marion County Democrats' party, Republicans were, presumably, drowning their sorrows.
- "The straight ticket partisanship that is Marion County is sobering and we just have to learn to work within that model to advance change and improve our city," Shreve said per IBJ.
- At the end of his concession speech, Shreve encouraged supporters to enjoy the party's open bar.
- "We can afford it," he told the crowd.
💭 James' thought bubble: Republicans thought their best chance to retake Indianapolis was to find a wealthy, self-funding candidate to outspend Democrats.
- Shreve took his shot and the outcome is more evidence that Republicans face a steep demographic disadvantage in Indianapolis, regardless of campaign funding.
Of note: Hogsett is the first Indianapolis mayor to win more than two terms since Republican Bill Hudnut held the job from 1976 to 1992.
The bottom line: Hogsett, 67, has one more term to cement his legacy.
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