Speculation on 2015 election surrounds Mayor Ballard

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The countdown to the next mayoral election is on, which is leading to a lot of speculation about Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s future. As the election inches closer, Republicans are wondering who will take on potential Democrat candidates – Ed DeLaney or Joe Hogsett in 2015.

“I’m being pressured by everybody to make a decision,” said Ballard.

Mayor Ballard’s first two terms have been long. He’s trying to tackle the city’s violence problem, as Indianapolis is on track to hit a 7-year high for homicides. In the meantime, he’s struggled to implement a Pre-K plan, or get funding for infrastructure and pothole repairs, with gridlock in the city-county council.

“Eight years can wear on you a little bit,” said Ballard.

Kyle Walker, Marion County Republican Party chairman, agreed the job is an exhausting one.

“It is a demanding job and one that he has tackled head on and exercised or spent a tremendous amount of energy over the last seven years,” said Walker.

But the party has to prepare for either way the decision goes.

“Certainly Mayor Ballard has huge shoes to fill, for any candidate, but I’m confident that there’s a lot of folks in Marion County that would be able to rise up to that challenge should we need to,” said Walker.

Some say State Senator Jim Merritt or Former State Senator Murray Clark might step to the plate.

Clark told 24-Hour News 8, “…truly, until he [Ballard] decides not to run, if he does, I am not giving it any meaningful thought or consideration. Honestly. Others might be, but I am not.”

Jim Merritt said on Friday, it’s “wait and see.”

Earlier this week, Ballard hinted at a life outside politics for he and his wife.

“I think there are probably things we could do around the city that would still be helpful and give back,” said Ballard.

There’s been talk the Cathedral High School graduate could take a job at the school when the current president steps down in 2016. President Stephen Helmich said the school hasn’t heard from Ballard, but if the mayor is interested in the job he should come forward. Helmich said the school would like to see “someone of Ballard’s caliber” take the job.

Mayor Ballard said he should make a decision by the end of the year. He said he’s considering what’s best for he and his wife.

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