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Council members look ahead to third Hogsett term

Looking ahead to Hogsett’s third term

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis City-County Council members from both parties on Wednesday said it’s time to set politics aside and get back to work on long-delayed projects.

Mayor Joe Hogsett took home nearly 60% of the vote Tuesday night to become only the second mayor in the history of Indianapolis to be elected to three four-year terms. In his victory speech, he told supporters he saw his third term as a chance to fulfill promises delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic had not denied us the progress Indianapolis deserved, but things had undeniably been delayed,” Hogsett said. “(The voters) have given us the chance to deliver on those challenges that yet remain.”

Council President Vop Osili, a Democrat, said he’s looking for a continuation of Hogsett’s first eight years in office. He said he especially looks forward to working with him on infrastructure and housing issues. Besides affordable housing, Osili said he wants to continue working on ways to help existing homeowners afford to remain in their homes. Above all, he said it’s time to stop thinking about the Council as a Democratic-majority or Republican-minority body, and focus on ways to benefit the entire city.

“Let’s not just talk about how to finish off something. Let’s talk about how we enhance it,” Osili said. “How do we make for a city that is accessible to everyone and welcomes everyone, and where people know that, if you go to Indianapolis, you have a future that is bright?”

Indiana Democratic Party Chair Mike Schmuhl said he credited Hogsett’s success to his focus on issues that mattered to Indianapolis voters. He said Hogsett did a good job of publishing policy proposals with a consistent message throughout the campaign. Schmuhl said he believes the Democrats’ ability to flip Indianapolis from Republican to Democratic control over the last 15 years is due at least as much to their brand as to the city’s changing demographics, if not more so.

“Going up against lots of money, really infinite resources for a race of this size, and coming off victorious by 20 percentage points and only losing one city council race, is a very impressive victory,” Schmuhl said.

Council Minority Leader Brian Mowery, R-District 25, said he hopes Hogsett takes the campaign as a sign it’s time to work on issues such as IMPD’s officer retention rate. He said he expects plenty of room for bipartisan cooperation on Hogsett’s policies since most proposals on the council get bipartisan support.

“What’s past is past. Now it’s time to set politics aside,” Mowery said.

Hogsett’s third term begins on Jan. 1, and runs through the end of 2027.