Finkam wins tight Republican primary in Carmel mayoral race


Carmel City Councilor Sue Finkam won the Republican nomination for mayor, defeating fellow City Councilor Kevin “Woody” Rider and former Hamilton County Councilor Fred Glynn in a close race May 2.

With all precincts reporting, Finkam finished with 4,595 votes, or 36.08 percent of the vote, compared to 4,092 (32.13 percent) for Rider and 4,048 (31.79 percent) for Glynn.

Finkam celebrated the victory at the Renaissance hotel in Carmel, where supporters gathered throughout the evening as results came in. After receiving calls from Rider and Glynn conceding the race, she addressed the crowd, thanking voters for taking her campaign from “underdog” status at the start of the race to a primary victory.

“We knew we had to be scrappy and tough and resilient and not back down from a fight,” Finkam said. “We overcame a candidate who was well funded and another candidate who had previously run for mayor. They underestimated us at every turn.”

Finkam will face Democrat Miles Nelson, who is also a member of the city council, in the November general election.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, a Republican who has been in office since 1996, endorsed Rider but stopped by Finkam’s event to congratulate her on the win. He described Finkam as a hard worker who has supported the overall direction of the city for many years, and he plans to support her and the rest of the Republican ticket in November.

“Sue will be a great (general election) candidate and will be a good mayor, if elected,” Brainard said.

Rider, whose fundraising totals far surpassed his opponents, gathered with his supporters at his campaign headquarters on Carmel Drive as votes were counted.

“It just wasn’t meant to be,” Rider said. “We did everything we could, and the citizens went in a different direction.”

Glynn did not hold an election night event. Although disappointed with the result, Glynn said he will support Finkam in the general election.

“Although tonight’s results were not what we wanted, the results showed Carmel residents wanted change,” Glynn stated. “I believe that our nominee, Sue Finkam, is still the best candidate in November to carry our city forward.”

Rider ran on a slate with seven candidates for city council. Of those candidates, incumbent City Councilor Adam Aasen (Southeast District) was unopposed in the primary; incumbent Councilor Jeff Worrell (at-large), Matt Snyder (at-large), Rich Taylor (at-large), Shannon Minnaar (Northeast District) and Loren Matthes (West District) won their primaries. Leah York, a candidate on the slate running in the North Central District, lost to incumbent Teresa Ayers.

Ryan Locke won in the Northwest District primary.

Reporter Edward Redd contributed to this report.


Current Morning Briefing Logo

Stay CURRENT with our daily newsletter (M-F) and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox for free!

Select list(s) to subscribe to

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Current Publishing, 30 S. Range Line Road, Carmel, IN, 46032, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact