Commentary by Larry Lannan
Fishers doesn’t have a mayor now. But with seven town council members all elected at large, it can be argued that Fishers has seven mayors. That will all change soon.
After a hard fought 2012 campaign, voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum to transform Fishers from a town to a city. There is some question about when the mayoral election will be held, but the most likely scenario is for the balloting to happen in November 2015, with the new mayor and city council taking office in 2016.
With the election just less than two years away, you might think it’s too early to start talking about who may run for mayor. You would be wrong.
Anyone thinking about becoming a candidate for mayor is looking at what support she/he may have at this point in the cycle. This is also the time potential candidates will be sounding out possible campaign donors. It will take plenty of money to run a mayoral campaign in a municipality the size of Fishers.
The rumor mill has been busy on who may file for the newly-created office. Well more than half of the current town council members are rumored to be exploring the possibility of running. There are others not now in elected office that also are thinking about it.
Anyone choosing to run for mayor cannot run for any of the new city council positions. Some may pass on the mayoral race to run for a new council seat.
Many of those mulling a mayoral run have well-paying jobs now. Will any of these potential candidates forsake their lucrative careers to take a job with an election due every four years? Or, will some candidates try to become a part-time mayor and rely on staff to handle day-to-day operations for the new city?
With Fishers known to be a GOP stronghold, the biggest test will come in the May, 2015 primary election. The Republican emerging from that primary will be a heavy favorite to win in the general election.
It will also be interesting to see whether Democrats run a candidate for mayor or any of the new council seats. In the 2011 town council races, only one Democrat was a candidate in one district, Greg Purvis, and he lost to John Weingardt.
I have no idea who will end up on the primary election ballot in May of 2015. I do know it will be fun to watch this political story.