Democratic Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett ended 2018 with a healthy campaign war chest as he looks to keep his job in the upcoming municipal elections.
The Hogsett for Indianapolis campaign committee announced its 2018 annual fundraising filing Wednesday, reporting more than $1.1 million raised during the year with more than $3.2 million cash-on-hand ahead of the 2019 campaign cycle.
“The figures for last year continue a string of strong fundraising periods for Mayor Joe Hogsett’s re-election effort, and include contributions from more than 400 individual supporters and hundreds of low-dollar donors,” stated Heather K. Sagar, campaign spokesperson.
During 2018, the Hogsett for Indianapolis campaign raised $1,105,529.68, and cash-on-hand totaled $3,226,413.50.
Hogsett announced his candidacy for re-election in Dec. 5.
Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, officially announced his decision to seek Hogsett's job on Jan. 10. First elected to represent District 31 in the Indiana State Senate in 1990, Merritt defeated Democratic challenger Derek Camp at the polls during the 2018 midterm election by a 51.4 percent to 48.6 percent margin. During his mayoral announcement, Merritt said his campaign had around $10,000 to begin with.
Merritt has placed public safety at the center of his campaign, citing Indianapolis' homicide rate—which broke records for the fourth year in a row—as one of the main drivers for his decision to run.
In the primary, Merritt will face at least three challengers including political newcomers John Schmitz and Christopher Moore, along with former City-County Council Member Jose Evans.
Evans is expected to officially begin his campaign later this week.
The municipal primary election is scheduled for May 7, and the general election will be Nov. 5.
UPDATE NO. 1
Evans announced Thursday morning that a press conference "to officially announce his role in the upcoming election for Mayor of Indianapolis and how he will make a difference in the city’s future" was scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at Xclusive Cuts, 7239 Michigan Road.
"A special guest will be joining Jose to make additional comments regarding Jose’s announcement," read the statement.
UPDATE NO. 2
Jose Evans, former city-county councilor, ended his campaign for mayor at an event Friday morning at Xclusive Cuts. Evans is now endorsing the mayoral campaign of Sen. Jim Merritt, Indianapolis. Merritt accepted Evans’ support and welcomed him onto his campaign team.