INDIANAPOLIS (DREAM) – Jefferson Shreve said he brings public and private sector experience to City Hall not unlike former Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels.
Shreve, the founder and CEO of Storage Express and a former City Council member, is challenging Mayor Joe Hogsett in next month’s Indianapolis mayoral election. The winner in November will lead the combined city-county government responsible for nearly 1 million people in Indiana’s most populous county.
Both candidates raised and spent millions of dollars. The most recent campaign finance figures released by the county show Hogsett has raised just over $6 million since the start of the year. Shreve raised about $14.5 million, although $13.5 million of that came from his own pocket.
On Monday night, News 8 hosted the first live, televised mayoral debate in Indianapolis in nearly 20 years. In addition to the debate, both candidates were asked to be interviewed in detail about their policy goals. Shreve accepted News 8’s invitation, but Hogsett declined.
Shreve has focused his campaign on public safety, attacking the Democratic mayor over the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s ongoing shortage of police officers. He told News 8 the problem is the department is not retaining veteran officers. One way to do that, he said, is to increase the pay of those officers even more, because the gap between starting pay and veteran pay is narrower now than it used to be. Shreve also called for hiring a full-time public safety director, something all of Hogsett’s predecessors have done.
Shreve drew fire from conservatives this summer when he announced a public safety plan in Marion County that would require a permit to carry a concealed weapon, raise the minimum age to purchase a firearm in Marion County to 21 and ban any new military sales. style rifles. The announcement came two days after the City Council, at Hogsett’s urging, passed an ordinance that would do so if state lawmakers repeal Indiana’s preemption law. Shreve has been defending the plan ever since. He said he based his plan on testimony from law enforcement agencies, including the Indiana State Police Department. Doug Carter on topics like unauthorized carry.
“It makes the (officers’) job more dangerous. If we take a tool away from them like permitting requirements, it’s harder for them to do their jobs,” he said, adding on the subject of the age requirement: “If you have to be 21 to buy Budweiser, you have to be 21. By Beretta.
Shreve said Indianapolis’ economy could greatly benefit from two planned corridors in the downtown core. Purdue University leaders have proposed creating a technology corridor from West Lafayette to Purdue University’s Indianapolis campus, while Indiana University leaders are exploring a life sciences corridor from Bloomington to the IU Indianapolis campus. Shreve said he would use 16 Tech to close those two corridors and aggressively market downtown as a place to live and work for people who work at those two universities. Even if Indianapolis residents don’t work in a STEM field, he said, they will benefit from the resulting economic growth.
A study by the Common Sense Institute last year found metro Indianapolis was short 18,852 to 61,238 affordable housing units. By 2028, up to 115,000 may be needed to close the deficit and keep up with population growth. Shreve said the solution to the affordable housing crisis is to lower regulatory barriers for developers. He said adding housing would lower housing costs.
More than 200,000 Indianapolis residents live in a food desert, defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as an area with a large number of low-income people living more than 1 mile from the nearest supermarket. Shreve said he would offer incentives to convert abandoned, small retail properties into grocery stores.
“If we can take this dead, unused former CVS or Walgreen space and attract compact grocery retailers that want to serve, I think that’s a solution we can do at scale,” he said. “If we’re going to move the needle in Indianapolis, we have to do it at scale.”
Shreve said his combination of public and private sector experience means he understands how to run an efficient, effective organization, as well as how city government works. He built his portfolio of skills at Eli Lilly & Co. before becoming governor. and compared to former governor Mitch Daniels, who worked in the Bush White House.
Early voting continues, with additional polling stations opening Saturday. Election day is November 7. Due to the intricacies of Marion County’s combined city-county government, voters in Lawrence, Beech Grove and Southport will have to vote for mayors in those communities as well as Indianapolis.