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Hamilton County elections: No Dems challenging for mayoral races

Indianapolis Star logo Indianapolis Star 6/26/2019 John Tuohy
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Four Republican mayoral candidates in Hamilton County are all but certain of victory in November’s general election after Democrats declined to field challengers before the filing deadline.

The county Democratic Party had said it was strongly considering a candidate to challenge Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, who has served six terms. But party Chairman Joe Weingarten said the candidate, a doctor from Carmel, decided against running.

“He thought maybe it was better for business to stay out of politics,” Weingarten said.

Democrats have run a candidate against Brainard just once in seven elections, in 2007, when Henry Winckler received 13.9% of the vote. 

The filing deadline with the Hamilton County Board of Elections was June 20.

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The party never had any serious candidates for the mayor’s seats in Fishers, Noblesville and Westfiled. That means barring some unforeseen and remarkable write-in campaign by challengers, Mayor Scott Fadness will walk unopposed into a second full term, and Westfield Mayor Andy Cook will earn a fourth term. In Noblesville, City Councilman Chris Jensen will run unopposed and is expected to start his first term, succeeding John Ditslear, who served 16 years as mayor.

Hamilton County is one of the most dependably Republican counties in the state, but Democrats do have a smattering of candidates for city council seats and they have made mad inroads recently.

The party had an unprecedented number of challengers for county offices, seven, in the 2018 midterm elections, and though they didn't win any, the margins of defeat were generally lower than in the past. The party also scored an upset in an Indiana senate seat in Distirct 29, which includes Carmel, when J.D. Ford beat Republican incumbent Mike Delph.

Call IndyStar reporter John Tuohy at 317 444-6418. Follow on Twitter and Facebook.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Hamilton County elections: No Dems challenging for mayoral races

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