Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard withdraws name from race for 5th District seat in Congress


More than a week after Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard announced he would consider running for the 5th District seat in Congress, following Susan Brooks’ resignation from candidacy, Braindard has decided he will not pursue her seat. He released the following statement on July 25:

A little more than a week ago, after our Congresswoman Susan Brooks resigned her candidacy for the House of Representatives to run for Governor, I started hearing from longtime friends and people who I respect.   They encouraged me to run for the seat she vacated and take to Washington the strategic ideas and vision we’ve put into place here in order to help others build cities that work.   I began considering a run for the vacated seat in the House of Representatives.

It gave me much to contemplate. I love my country and have always taken opportunities to share the great success story of Carmel, whether it is through my work with the U.S. Conference of Mayors or by serving on the White House’s Task Force on Environmental Preparedness or speaking abroad about city design as part of the US State Department’s speaker’s bureau. These opportunities have allowed me to share and Carmel to shine on a national and international stage. The idea of doing that in Congress would tempt any mayor who loves his city and his country.

I was honored by the many calls of encouragement but at the same time, I was deeply humbled to receive even more calls and emails from friends and fellow residents who wanted me to remain as mayor of Carmel. They told me that they love living here and that they wanted me to stay and continue working to build a city that that attracts good-paying jobs, hard-working families and visitors who want to experience the many wonderful things Carmel has to offer.

Their words struck a chord. For the past 21 years, I have been given the privilege of being your mayor. You have put your trust in me time and again – six terms now – to continue building this great city. We have worked hard to take what was once a blank palate of suburbia and transform it into a vibrant city where we can thrive and succeed.  I often take long drives or bike rides through the Arts & Design District, City Center, Midtown and other developing areas of this city where I raised my children and planted my roots. The beautiful streetscapes, green spaces and flowers; the distinct architecture of  our projects; the public art visible for so many to see and enjoy … and of course our majestic Palladium, the anchor of a new downtown that continues to evolve into a sustainable, walkable community, the way cities were meant to be built.

There is still much work to be done. I’m excited about the new projects that are beginning to take shape in Midtown, the Proscenium and other exciting developments to the south and west of the central core. I’m excited to watch the Meridian Street Corridor grow with more corporate headquarters, hotels and developments that continue to attract new residents. I’m excited that we have maintained our strong fiscal record and our AA+ bond rating and that we continue to improve our infrastructure and our bike trails and our many acres of parks. I’m thrilled about the future 96th Street and Keystone roundabout interchange project and other road improvements that will help our residents spend less time in their cars and more time with their families and loved ones. I am also very excited as we continue to lead the nation in building more roundabouts than any other US city, including the 100th, which should open this year.

It has been very rewarding to guide the transformation of this once sleepy town into a world-class city, one with a wonderful sense of community where people from all over the world are welcomed, one that provides us with the creativity to feed our souls and one that has the potential for even more. We must constantly challenge ourselves to create the best place to live not just in the region, the state, the Midwest or the country, but the best place anywhere.  As I considered this new challenge, I also weighed the responsibility to stay focused on what it will take to help our city succeed in the distant future and what could happen if we were to lose that focus.

For these reasons and many others, I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration for the 5th District seat in Congress.

In the future, there may be other opportunities that are presented to me that would expand my ability to influence change on a larger scale and I will give each one the careful consideration I gave this opportunity. For now however, I feel the best choice is to continue leading one of the best cities anywhere to live, work, and raise a family.

Editor’s note:

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