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Political experts weigh in on Indianapolis Mayoral Debate

WISH-TV hosting live Indianapolis Mayoral Debate tonight

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Election Day is quickly approaching and the race for Mayor of Indianapolis is heating up.

WISH-TV will host Democratic incumbent Mayor Joe Hogsett and Republican challenger Jefferson Shreve in the first live, televised debate of the 2023 mayoral election on Monday.

Hogsett is seeking a third term as mayor of Indianapolis. Shreve, a businessman who has previously served on the City-County Council, won the Republican primary in May.

The debate will air live starting at 6 p.m. Monday on WISH-TV,, and the official WISH-TV Facebook page.

It’s the first one-hour televised debate in an Indianapolis mayoral campaign in nearly 20 years. It will cover a wide variety of topics that impact Indianapolis with no questions off-limits.

Ahead of the debate, All Indiana Politics contributors Kip Tew, a Democrat, and Whitley Yates, a Republican, joined the News 8 Daybreak team for a preview of what to expect and what to look for in the debate.

When asked what people can expect from the candidates tonight, Tew said, “The mayor, I think, has to talk about his agenda, talk about what’s gonna happen in the future, avoid any mistakes. He’s got a nice, healthy lead in this race and he needs to make no news.”

Yates responded by saying: “I can definitely expect Mayor Hogsett to talk about his political posture and the plans that he has for the future. However, he will not be able to tell us about the track record that has been great for the city. I expect Jefferson to paint a clear vision for Indianapolis with his leadership at the helm.”

Both Hogsett and Shreve are expected to address public safety and differentiate themselves and their plans from one another; Shreve needs to take some Democratic votes and Hogsett needs to keep them. News 8 asked both political experts how each candidate will accomplish that.

“Well, I think Jefferson Shreve isn’t going to be able to accomplish it. As I said earlier, he voted for Donald Trump. He was a national delegate for Donald Trump. He is a conservative NRA member out of step with what democratic values are in the city of Indianapolis. He hasn’t really presented a vision of how he’s going to improve the city. He’s just complained about Joe Hogsett. So I think that he’s not gonna get democratic votes,” Tew said.

“Looking at the primary, 40% of Democratic voters voted against Joe Hogsett. How is he going to keep them? The truth is he’s not. They’re not going to show up for him because they don’t like the direction that the city is going to be in at the end of the day. Jefferson Shreve, he’s a common sense person, not looking to take anything away from you. He’s really just looking to lead the city in a better direction than where we’ve been going,” Yates said.

Watch the video above for the full interview and a breakdown of the expectations of this debate.

Click here to learn more about tonight’s Indianapolis mayoral debate.

About the debate

Members of News 8’s award-winning news team will serve as moderators, including main evening anchor and “All INdiana Politics” host Phil Sanchez and Katiera Winfrey, Indianapolis’ only full-time Multicultural television reporter, as well as questions from I-Team 8 Senior Investigative Reporter Richard Essex and the community.