Marion County GOP Calls for Increased Leadership from Mayor Hogsett and Council Democrats
Failing leadership drives away good people from important roles in our community
INDIANAPOLIS— June 21, 2020 —Following months of growing violent crime in Marion County, the Marion County Republican Party is calling for increased leadership from Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indianapolis City-County Council Democrats.
“Last week, Marion County saw its 100th homicide this year and Mayor Hogsett calls for community-based crime prevention groups, which is great,” said Cindy Kirchhofer, Marion County Republican Party Chairwoman. “However, Council Republicans urged the city to take action 6 months ago when they recommended a commission on public safety doing the exact same thing. Unfortunately, it was voted down by Council Democrats and Mayor Hogsett referred to it as ludicrous.”
Council Republicans brought forth Proposal 43, opening a crime commission, to the Public Safety Committee. However, it was quickly voted down by Council Democrats who would rather score short-term political victories than engage in long-term, bi-partisan solutions.
“The Council Republican caucus applauds Mayor Hogsett for his announcement of a project to create a community-driven definition of justice and public safety. In fact, we felt so strongly that we recommended a commission on public safety six months before it was announced. The commission was to involve leaders in education, law enforcement, criminal justice, and community members on a city-wide study of resources spent to combat crime and which ones are working and which are not. We hope this commission could be again be considered by Council Democrats,” said Brian Mowery, Indianapolis City-County Council Minority Leader.
Mayor Hogsett once referred to himself as a public safety mayor and often uses an example of Community District Resource Councils (CDRC) as neighborhoods working together. One of the most effective CDRC’s was IMPD Southeast District CDRC. The eight-member leadership of the southeast side CDRC submitted a mass resignation letter over the past weekend, frustrated, by what is perceived to be Mayor Hogsett’s failing anti-violence initiatives.
The resignation letter stated, “Those who speak of reducing violence turning their heads, ignoring or even encouraging rioting, violence and looting. Community leaders speaking of defunding, dismantling, and disbanding the police department. Violent criminals being released with little or no accountability.”
“We, as elected leaders, are chosen by the voters in Marion County to do a job. Mayor Hogsett’s job is to help keep our community safe. Clearly, as we see with the CDRC resignations for Mayor Hogsett’s lack of action and homicides at an all time high in Marion County, he has failed his job.” said Chair Kirchhofer. “Mayor Hogsett’s failed leadership driving away good people from important roles in our community," said Councillor Mowery.
May 30, 2020
Marion County GOP Calls For Accountability in County's Absentee Balloting Chaos
INDIANAPOLIS— May 30, 2020 —Following weeks of reports of delayed and incorrect processing of absentee ballots in Marion County, the Marion County Republican Party is calling for increased accountability of Mayor Joe Hogsett and Marion County Clerk Myla Eldridge’s management of the primary election.
“Since March, Mayor Hogsett and Clerk Eldridge have promoted and spent taxpayer’s dollars encouraging all Marion County residents to vote absentee,” said Cindy Kirchhofer, Marion County Republican Party Chairwoman. “However, it’s clear that neither of them had the forethought, planning or resources to execute a program that addresses an increase in absentee ballots. Unfortunately, this could cost hundreds, if not thousands, of our residents the opportunity to vote in this primary.”
Reports continue to come in across the county of duplicate ballots being mailed to the same individual, residents never receiving their ballot weeks after their request, and incorrect ballots being sent to voters. This follows a $2 million emergency budget appropriation from the City of Indianapolis containing unbudgeted dollars to send absentee ballot applications to every registered voter in the city.
In a request to the Indiana Election Commission, Clerk Eldridge has requested that the state allow Marion County to continue to accept absentee ballots after the Primary Day deadline at noon. However, as Secretary of State Connie Lawson said today in a response, Clerk Eldridge did not request help until three days before the deadline to request absentee ballots.
“Lack of prior planning and preparation are not sufficient reasons to change deadlines. In fact, extending this deadline will not help as many Marion County voters haven’t received a ballot. Deadlines are in place for security and accountability purposes,” said Secretary Lawson, in her letter to Clerk Eldridge.
Because of these delays, Marion County voters who receive their ballots in the days immediate before the primary are encouraged to hand-deliver their ballots to the 22 polling centers around the county before noon on Primary Day.
“I fully appreciate that there have been challenges this election, but Clerk Eldridge has had every chance to lead – all while offered unprecedented resources,” said Kirchhofer. “In addition to emergency city appropriations, she had the benefit of an extra month of planning and access to PPE and supplies for poll workers. If you spend money telling everyone to vote absentee, do not be surprised when you have more ballots to process,” said Kirchhofer.
Chair, Marion County Republican Central Committee
March 20, 2020
Primary Election Update
Governor Holcomb continues to be proactive in leading Indiana’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Keeping Hoosiers safe is his top priority and today the Governor, Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Indiana Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer, and Democrat Chair John Zody made an important announcement today related to Indiana’s Primary Election in May:
Due to COVID-19 concerns, the primary election will be moved from May 5 to June 2, 2020.
The Governor and Secretary of State announced additional related actions:
Suspend absentee by-mail rules to allow any registered voter to vote absentee in the upcoming primary.
The window for absentee ballot requests remains open through 12 day out from the new primary election date.
Medical professionals will be eligible members of traveling boards to allow nursing home and hospital patients to vote.
Family members will be allowed to deliver absentee ballots.
Gov. Holcomb signed an executive order to suspend Indiana’s election statute and move the dates. The executive order is posted here:
Statement from Governor Holcomb: “The right of citizens to elect their leaders in a free and open election is one of the cornerstones of America. In order to balance that right with the safety of county employees, poll workers and voters, delaying Indiana’s primary election is the right move as we continue to do all we can to protect Hoosiers’ health.”
Statement from Secretary of State Lawson: “As Indiana’s Chief Election Officer, it is my top priority to protect our elections, but, above all else, it is my duty to protect the health and safety of Hoosiers,” said Secretary Lawson. “I believe the bi-partisan recommendations we have asked the Indiana Election Commission to take will allow us to provide all Hoosiers the opportunity to vote.”
Statement from Chairman Hupfer: “Hoosiers have always come together in times of crisis and today’s bipartisan announcement to move Indiana’s primary election to June 2 is yet another example of that unity. Moving our primary is not a step we took lightly, but it is necessary. Moving to June 2 will provide for the safety and security of all involved in the election process and allow additional time for those tasked with the job of conducting the election to prepare. I’m grateful for the leadership of Governor Holcomb and Secretary Lawson and appreciate Chairman Zody’s commitment to a bipartisan solution.”
This was a difficult, but necessary, decisions. Elections are the bedrock of our republic and making this adjustment will ensure more Hoosiers can exercise their right to vote. This was a bipartisan solution. The Governor and Secretary of State worked with the chairs of both major parties to reach this solution. No fault absentee voting has only been expanded for the June 2 primary. At the time, the November 3 General Election is not impacted and will continue as scheduled.
These are certainly unprecedented times and Hoosiers are coming together like never before. As Governor Holcomb says, “we’re all in this together.” We will win this war against COVID-19!
Thank you for everything you do for MCRCC,
Chair, Marion County Republican Central Committee
February 06, 2019
Council Republicans Express Disappointment at Democrat Decision to Shelve Crime Commission
Council Republicans Express Disappointment at Democrat Decision to Shelve Crime Commission Indianapolis City-County Council Minority Leader Brian Mowery expressed disappointment and outrage today when Public Safety Committee shelved Proposal 43, which would have created a commission to take a comprehensive look at Indianapolis’ crime and murder problem. “Less than an hour after Democrats unanimously voted against out proposal, four people were murdered,” Mowery noted. “It is sad and frankly shameful that there are individuals in our city who rather score short-term political victories rather engage in long-term, bi-partisan solutions.” The Commission, which would have been a bipartisan effort, would have included experts in criminal justice, law enforcement, education, and community members to recommend policy changes to advance the cause of reducing violent crime. It would have also looked at the disparate impact of crime and violence on the African-American Community. “Twenty-eight people have been murdered in Indianapolis since January 1,” Mowery said. “How many more of our citizens have to die before Council Democrats take this problem seriously and put politics aside for the good of Indianapolis?”
February 02, 2019
Chairman Carpenter Comments After Slating Results
INDIANAPOLIS – Today the Marion County Republican Party and its members voted on candidates to represent the party in 2019. Following the results. Chairman Carpenter said:
“From the top of the ticket on down, the Marion County Republican Party has a great team of candidates - led by Jim Merritt for Mayor. Our Party is united behind the goal electing a Republican Mayor, retaking the majority on the City County Council and supporting our great teams in the City of Lawrence and the Town of Speedway. All of our candidates did a great job of reaching out to organization members and making their case for why they should be supported. I am thankful to all who were committed to this process.”
Candidates slated for Indianapolis:
Mayor: Jim Merritt
District 1: Rick Anderson
District 2: Colleen Fanning
District 3: Dan Jones
District 4: Mike McQuillen
District 5: Adam Cox
District 6: Janice McHenry
District 11: Evan Shearin
District 15: Andy Harris
District 16: Laura Giffel
District 18: Carrie Zapfe
District 19: Tony Mendez
District 20: Jason Holliday
District 21: Tyler Richardson
District 22: Jason Richey
District 23: Paul Annee
District 24: Doug Wood
District 25: Brian Mowery
Candidates slated in Lawrence:
Mayor: Steve Collier
City Clerk: Kathy Walton
Council District 2: Robert Sterrett
Council District 3: Brent Addington
Council District 4: Desmond Woods
Council District 5: Tom Shevlot
Council District 6: Lauren Russell
Council District At Large: David Parnell
Council District At Large: David Blount
Council District At Large: Mark Clark
Candidates slated in Speedway:
Council District 1: Gary Raikes
Council District 2: Jeff Matthews
Council District 4: Eileen Fisher
Council District 5: David Lindsey
November 19, 2018
Chairman Jim Merritt Stands with Council Republicans in opposition to salary increases
INDIANAPOLIS – Today Chairman Jim Merritt spoke on the upcoming proposal to increase City-County Council salaries by two hundred percent. In doing so, he said:
“I am proud to stand in support with the Republican members of the County Council against giving themselves and other County-wide elected officials a pay increase. I’m saddened to see that my counterpart, Kate Sweeney-Bell, whom also happens to be the County Recorder has not come out in opposition to this proposal. This money could be spent to hire more police officers, help tackle our crumbling infrastructure or pay down debt. It’s important that we focus our spending on things that will move this city forward rather than handing out pay raises to elected officials.”
November 01, 2018
Statement from Chairman Jim Merritt on new City-County Councillor Danielle Coulter
INDIANAPOLIS – I want to thank all of those who participated in tonight’s caucus for City-County Council District 23. I would also like to congratulate Danielle Coulter on winning the caucus and being elected as the next Councillor for District 23. Danielle brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the council and will serve her constituents and our city well.
September 11, 2018
Chairman Jim Merritt Announces Jefferson Shreve as new City Councilor in District 16
Indianapolis, Ind. – Tonight Chairman Merritt announced that Jefferson Shreve has been selected by the precinct committeeman to be their new City-County Councilor in District 16. In doing so, Merritt said:
“Tonight, the Precinct Committeemen of Council District 16 have selected Jefferson Shreve to serve as their next Councilor. I want to congratulate Jefferson on being selected. Jefferson has previously been a member of the Council and will be able to jump in without missing a beat. His previous experience on the council as well as being a business owner right here in Indianapolis will serve the residents of his district and our County well.”
Indianapolis, Ind. – Today Chairman Merritt made the following statement on Indianapolis's ranking as the 10th most dangerous city in America.
“Just two days ago I told Joe Hogsett that he needs to stop the publicity stunts and get serious about crime. Now, an independent organization has ranked Indianapolis as the 10th most dangerous city in America. This is tragic and completely unacceptable.
Then-candidate Joe Hogsett told us that he would be tough on crime as mayor. This is another area where perpetual-candidate-Hogsett and finally-elected-Hogsett have been miles apart. He told residents that ‘The proof will be in the pudding, it will be in the performance’. Well, the proof is that under three years of Mayor Hogsett, public safety has plunged and violent crime has soared. Time and time again Joe Hogsett has shown he is incapable of performing the fundamental functions of the office. How can we be a world class city when Hogsett refuses to address the most serious issues facing Indianapolis?”