Former Indy councilor Jose Evans dropping out of mayor race to support fellow Republican Jim Merritt

Posted: 1:00 PM, Jan 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-18 13:00:27-05

INDIANAPOLIS — With the employees of a northwest-side barbershop working behind him, former Indianapolis City-County Councilor Jose Evans announced Friday he was ending his campaign for mayor and would be supporting Ind. Sen. Jim Merritt in the race.

Merritt, R-Indianapolis, announced his run last week, promising to start in the grassroots of the city.

“If we can come with bold new solutions and help people prosper, Indianapolis is going to soar,” Merritt said. “We have some problems, and there are challenges that we’re accepting. I look forward to working with Jose and talking about the solutions that we’re going to present.”

Evans is a two-term councilor in Indianapolis. He said he can help Merritt understand the council and the inner workings of the city’s politics.

“I think that’s going to be very helpful – a liaison to the council,” Evans said. “Helping make sure we win the council. Besides making him the next mayor. It’s not going to do us any good if he’s the next mayor, and we don’t have control of the council.”

Evans was elected to the City-County Council in 2007. He switched party affiliations from Democrat in 2013.

Evans said the two reached out to each other last week and had lunch to discuss their ideas on the race and the city. He said their ideas were very similar, which put him “at ease.”

“I’d say 98 percent of his vision and my vision were alike,” Evans said. “Knowing that, I was able to be at ease about the best thing for the city of Indianapolis, not just Jose. I wanted to be mayor. I wanted to go after it. But it’s not about me or my personal ambitions.”

After the announcement, the employees and customers of the Xclusive Cuts barbershop had an opportunity to ask Merritt questions about his campaign and ideas.

They asked Merritt about education, infrastructure, and taking care of the elderly in the city.

Election day will be Nov. 5.

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