Ballard, RFRA & the future

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Mayor Greg Ballard says the RFRA battle isn’t over yet.

And, it might be awhile before we know the results of the recent fight at the Statehouse.

“My main job in the city of Indianapolis is to create an environment where talent wants to come to,” he told 24-Hour News 8. “I want to make sure that we always send the signals out across — particularly for the Millennials, the really highly talented Millennials – and, frankly, for senior citizens, also — that we are a place that you want to be looking at living.”

As he sees it, RFRA complicated that mission.

When the RFRA protests erupted during the past legislative session, Indianapolis heard many threats of lost business. So, he “made a lot of phone calls” to preserve convention commitments in Indianapolis.  For now, for the short term, he said “I think we kind of saved it.”

So, Indianapolis appears to be “OK.”

Ballard is curious about the long term, though.

“We’re always worried about conventions down the road that maybe aren’t talking to us like they would have.”

He said it might be a few years before we know what the real effect was.

RFRA also inspired calls for Ballard to challenge Governor Mike Pence in the next Republican primary election. Ballard is flattered by the suggestion, since he has chosen not to see re-election as mayor.

He doesn’t know what he’ll do next.

“Not yet. Talked to a few people. We’ll see what’s going to happen,” Ballard said.

But, for “the next two or three years,” he’s not likely to consider politics.

“I’m more focused on the next year or two and me and Winnie, frankly.”