Ind. Sen. Jim Merritt joining race for Indy mayor

Posted: 3:48 PM, Jan 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-10 22:19:17Z

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has another challenger.

Ind. Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, announced his candidacy for mayor at an event Thursday afternoon.

Merritt focused on the city’s homeless problem at his campaign announcement.

“We have mental health issues and each and every one of the individuals needs to be taken care of,” Merritt said. “Bridget, who sits out on the Circle, knits. But she can’t get into a homeless facility, because they’re considered weapons.”

Former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard introduced Merritt at the event. Merritt was the campaign chair for Ballard’s mayoral campaign in 2007.

Merritt also discussed the city’s pothole issues, saying the problem is actually a tax on poor people.

“It inconveniences all of us, but it’s actually a tax on the poor when we don’t have good infrastructure,” Merritt said. “Just think about somebody who is living check-to-check and they bust a tire or a wheel and they can’t afford to fix what they have to. They can’t get to work.”

Hogsett released the following statement about Merritt’s candidacy:

“This November, Indianapolis voters will have the opportunity to make their voices heard. Should Senator Merritt win his party’s nomination, I look forward to a spirited conversation.”

Merritt is the longest tenured Senator at the Indiana Statehouse, having been in office since 1990. He said he will support a hate crime bill this legislative session.

He will face at least three other Republican challengers, include former City-County Councilor Jose Evans. The election will take place Tuesday, Nov. 5.

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