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Election Special: Lawrence Mayoral Candidate Deb Whitfield

October 15, 2023
WISH-TV Political Reporter Garrett Bergquist sits down with Deb Whitfield, member of the Lawrence Common Council and Democratic candidate for mayor. Whitfield said she's running for mayor because it's time for a new voice and a mayor that represents the diversity of Lawrence. She said she hears from a number of small businesses who feel unable to break into the Lawrence market, so she wants to break up what she calls the good old boy system. During the primary, she told News 8 she wants to build a small business incubator at Civic Plaza. "I have heard from so many different companies, small businesses, that don't have an opportunity in Lawrence," she said. "I want them to feel that they can come and they can have an opportunity to grow in Lawrence." Whitfield said Lawrence's police and firefighters must continue to receive the resources they need in order to keep the streets safe. She also said she would support an ordinance similar to what the Indianapolis City-County Council passed this summer that would prohibit permitless carry and any new purchases of military-style rifles within the city limits of Lawrence, as well as raise the minimum age to buy a gun to 21. A provision in Indianapolis' ordinance leaves it inactive unless the state's preemption law is repealed. Whitfield said her efforts to engage the community and her work in the health care field make her the best candidate for mayor because so much of that work involves listening to people's concerns. She said residents should believe they have a voice no matter their background and tapping into this would help the city grow rapidly. Early voting runs through noon on Nov. 6 and Election Day is Nov. 7. Due to the consolidated city-county government, voters in Lawrence, Southport and Beech Grove will have to choose mayors for their own towns as well as take part in the Indianapolis mayor's race. Indiana early voting began Wednesday, October 12. “All INdiana Politics” airs at 9:30 a.m. Sundays on WISH-TV.