Current Mayor of Indianapolis Joe Hogsett is running to be reelected on Nov. 7 against Jefferson Shreve. Professor of History and Political Science and Director of the Institute for Civic Leadership and Mayoral Archives Edward Frantz said that if Hogsett wins this election, he would be the second mayor in Indianapolis to have run for three terms, the first being former mayor William Hudnut, who served four terms. Hogsett, a Democrat, is running against Jefferson Shreve, a Republican, and both identify crime as a big issue in Indianapolis, Frantz said.
Although both candidates see crime as an issue, Associate Professor of Political Science Greg Shufeldt said that they are addressing it in different ways. Shufeldt said Hogsett is running his campaign on a platform of “unfinished business,” whereas Shreve is running his campaign on a platform of change.
“Mayor Hogsett, who is a Democrat, thinks that some of the proposals that he has enacted are starting to work, that we are seeing some positive developments in terms of raising salaries for police, trying to reduce gun violence, passing legislation to reduce access to firearms and other forms of community investment,” Shufeldt said. “Jefferson Shreve, a Republican, thinks that the mayor has not done enough to support the police and that the city needs to take more robust action to address crime.”
According to Hogsett’s website, he wants to build a better future for children, grow the economy, invest in the infrastructure of the city and have safer neighborhoods. So far, according to his website, Hogsett has launched programs called Indy Achieves which allows residents to pursue post secondary credentials or degree programs and Project Indy, which allows teenagers to find jobs. Hogsett has also added thousands of jobs over his eight years as mayor, according to his website, and he announced a five-year plan to fix roads, bridges, stormwater infrastructure and sidewalks that have been ignored for decades. Hogsett’s website says he invested in anti-violence programs and, in 2022, Indianapolis saw the largest decrease in murders in a year.
“A leader who always puts people before politics, Mayor Joe Hogsett is fighting for taxpayers and investing in our neighborhoods,” his website says. “… Mayor Joe is moving Indianapolis forward, as one city.”
According to Shreve’s website, he is working on creating modern infrastructure, connecting neighborhoods and public safety. According to his website, Shreve’s background in construction will help innovate the city’s infrastructure. Shreve also wants to add greenways, which would add alternative modes of transportation and connect where people work with where they live, according to his website. There are seven sections to his public safety plan, according to the website, that include the public safety director, police work, gun policy, improving community relations and addressing root causes of issues and returning transparency to the government. According to his website, Shreve’s overall vision for Indianapolis is to make it welcoming and where people want to live.
“As the Crossroads of America, Indianapolis should be the hub of innovation,” Shreve’s website says. “Our home deserves to have safe streets, attractive gathering spaces and bustling business sectors. We have done it before, and we can do it again.”
Shufeldt said that the voter turnout is low, which would allow college students to make an impact on the election. He said that getting involved in politics now can allow students to become an active member in their society.
“In a race like this, if college students and young Americans vote, the vote actually has a more outsized presence,” Shufeldt said. “Because so few people are voting, UIndy students have a chance to shape the direction of the city.”
Frantz said that it is important for students to vote in this election for three reasons: UIndy takes its name from the city, making the quality of life in Indianapolis better means better experiences for students and students can learn a lot by involving themselves in the election.
“With a slightly greater level of commitment, you can volunteer for a campaign and see how they’re run,” Frantz said. “… A lot of people who get their start in all kinds of different opportunities in the city might do so through participating in the campaign for a particular candidate, meaning, it is the kind of thing that once involved, if you demonstrate an ability to carry out tasks given to you, you can create other opportunities for yourself.”