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Where Indianapolis mayoral candidates stand on education issues: an election guide

Chalkbeat Indiana asked the same 10 questions to candidates running for Indianapolis mayor. The primary election is May 2, 2023. (Smartshots International / Getty Images via Chalkbeat)

Updated April 26: Since this guide first published, Democrat Clif Marsiglio ended his campaign and will support Democrat Robin Shackleford. The deadline to officially withdraw had passed when Marsiglio ended his campaign, so his name will still be on the ballot.

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat. Sign up for their newsletters at

Eight candidates are vying to be on the November ballot for Indianapolis mayor.

In the May 2 primary election, five Democrats, including current Mayor Joe Hogsett, and four Republicans are running to be the top elected official in Indianapolis.

The biggest way that the mayor impacts education in the city and its townships is through the Office of Education Innovation, which is a charter school authorizer. That means it is responsible for overseeing nearly 50 charter schools and making sure the schools meet the promises in their charters.

Plus, the mayor has a significant impact on crime, the economy, and housing in Indianapolis — all of which affect the educators and students who go to school here.

The winners of the Democratic and Republican primary elections will be on the Nov. 7 ballot. (Independent candidates and minor party candidates have until the summer to declare their candidacy for the general election.) 

To better understand each candidate’s views on charter schools, test scores, staff shortages, and more, Chalkbeat Indiana asked the same ten questions  — some of which were inspired by readers — to each one. 

Seven candidates responded. Democrats Bob Kern and Larry Vaughn did not. Gregory Meriweather, also a Democrat, will still be on the ballot, but has ended his campaign to support fellow Democratic candidate Robin Shackleford.


Here, in their own words, is what they said:


Early voting starts April 4 at the Indianapolis City-County Building. Additional early voting sites open April 22.

On Election Day, May 2,  polls are open 6 a.m to 6 p.m., and Marion County residents can vote at any of the county’s voting centers.

To find voting center locations for early voting and Election Day, apply for an absentee ballot and to see a sample ballot, visit

Register to vote in Indiana

To register to vote in the primary election or check your voter status, visit:

The registration deadline is Monday, April 3.

Early voting starts Tuesday, April 4.

The primary election is Tuesday, May 2.

MJ Slaby oversees Chalkbeat Indiana’s coverage as bureau chief and covers higher education. Contact MJ at

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news organization covering public education.