By Larry Lannan
Imagine for a moment the night of a presidential election. The president elect gives an acceptance speech, thanks his followers, then turns around and prepares for another election one year later.
That doesn’t happen in America. It doesn’t normally happen in Indiana. But in Fishers, something like that will happen in 2014.
In November, 2012, Fishers voters approved a referendum to transform the town into a city. A mayor will be elected. A nine-member city council will be established, with three at-large seats and six council members depending on the votes of constituents within their council district.
In the past, Fishers has been governed by a seven-member town council. The council members are required to live within their districts, but all are elected by the entire town.
The Indiana statutes were amended in the last legislative session and require Fishers to hold a municipal election as a city in 2014, electing a new mayor and city council that will take office in January, 2015. The winners of the 2014 election will hold office for one year, calendar year 2015.
Just a few days after taking the oath of office, those newly-elected city officials will need to begin filing for re-election in 2015. The primary election for the regular four-year term will be held in May, 2015.
Think about that for a moment. The new city officials will have held office for less than five months and they will be on the ballot again (presuming they all run for re-election).
The obvious question is, how did this happen? No one knows for sure, but that doesn’t change the fact that Fishers will have a city election in 2014 and 2015.
This will put a huge amount of pressure on political activists in the Fishers area that volunteer their time and money to local political campaigns. Just ask anyone that has been a candidate for local office or has been a key volunteer for a candidate. They will tell you how much heavy lifting is required to run a campaign for office, whether you win or lose.
Running a campaign for office in 2014 and 2015 will be a challenge. Even with all the pressure, no one anticipates a shortage of political candidates.
When the new mayor givers her/his acceptance speech in November, 2014, the mayor elect will likely have an important meeting the next day to begin planning the 2015 campaign.