Hogsett to set up exploratory committee for mayor

INDIANAPOLIS - Former U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett will take the first official steps to run for mayor of Indianapolis.

On Monday, Hogsett said that he plans to file paperwork to set up an exploratory committee in the coming days.

The Democrat believes public safety is a top priority in the race for 2015.  He credited both the rise in violence and his wife’s recent experiences for his decision.

"On a personal level, my wife works at a bank. It’s been robbed two times just recently. One at gunpoint, fortunately no one was hurt, but that brings (it) home very personally, not as a federal prosecutor, but as a husband and a father."

Hogsett said he has no regrets for initially expressing no interest in the job back in January.

"I have no regrets, because that was a very personal decision that I made at the time. What has happened since then is I think there have been fundamental changes made in the level of violent crime. We’re on a record pace for yet another year of record homicides in the city. Gun and gang-related crimes seem to be on the increase," Hogsett said.

Marion County Republicans said they are ready for a Hogsett challenge. They have already called him a career politician who broke his pledge to serve the rest of his term in office as U.S. Attorney.

"We'll take this challenge seriously also. But I think it will provide voters a significant contrast. On Hogsett’s side you have a career politician who has run four or five offices in the last 25 years. And on the other side, you have Mayor Ballard who is focused on the city of Indianapolis and doesn’t have aspirations for a higher office and has really shown himself to be a dedicated public servant," Marion County GOP Chair Kyle Walker said.

Hogsett said he has respect for incumbent Republican Mayor Greg Ballard's two terms in office and called him a good man. Ballard has yet to announce if he will seek a third term.

Hogsett said he has no deadline as to when he would make a formal announcement.

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