The Mayoral race in Indiana ended with a winner that no one expected. Mayor-elect Greg Ballard (R) defeated two-time incumbent Bart Peterson (D) in what some have described as the "biggest upset in Indiana political history". Being new to the Central Indiana scene I am unfamiliar with Bart Peterson, and know absolutely nothing about Greg Ballard. Being raised in the Southeastern corner of the state I am more in tune with Cincinnati political figures than Indianapolis leaders. I do know that Peterson had enjoyed, for the most part, bipartisan support during his two terms. Peterson had raised millions of dollars (compared to Ballard's meager $300,000), and he was supported by most political insiders and the business community.
Guess that isn't worth what it used to be.
To me the interesting aspect of this particular political race was the fact that Peterson's campaign tried to label Ballard as an unproven leader. Greg Ballard is a retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel. Unproven leader? That's ludicrous!
What I like the most about Ballard's win is that he only raised $300,000. That means that grass roots politics still works in this country. It also means that Ballard doesn't owe any favors to big donors.
For the outgoing mayor I'll say this; he was sertainly gracious in his concession speech. I expect that from a Midwesterner in general and a Hoosier leader in specific. He said to his supporters:
It’s time to rally around the new mayor, and to give as much to this city as you always have. Because at the end of the day, it isn’t about one individual or one administration. It’s about the great city of Indianapolis...tomorrow, the sun will rise, and we’ll still be living in the greatest city in America.
On that final note I say: Congratulations mayor-elect Ballard and "HUAH!"