Carmel mayor likely to run unopposed in November

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It appears Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard won’t face a challenger in the November election.

Previously, Hamilton County Democratic Party Chari Joe Weingarten said he expected his party would nominate a candidate before the July 3 deadline, but the candidate decided not to run.

“He backed out, because too many people didn’t want him to run,” Weingarten said. “He said, ‘Why should I fight not only Brainard but my own (party), too?’”

Weingarten said some members of his party worried that Brainard would come out in “full force” if he had an opponent, which they thought could hurt the chances of Democrats already on the November ballot.

Four Democratic candidates are running for Carmel City Council: Cleaster Davis in the Central District, Ti’Gre McNear in the Northeast District, William L. Howard II in the North District and Miles Nelson in the West District. All – except Nelson – will face Republican incumbents.

Weingarten said recent elections have shown that the Democratic Party is growing in Carmel, a city that rarely saw Democrats run in the past, let alone win. He believes the candidates have a better shot at winning this year than those in past elections, and he expects Nelson to win the West District.

None of the incumbent city councilors live in the West District, as redistricting approved in late 2018 created an additional district. The redistricting was a result of Carmel becoming a second class city, which also increases the total number of councilors from seven to nine by adding the additional district and an at-large council seat.

Nelson is running against Republican Debra Minott. Neither has run for office before.

Democratic, Republican and Libertarian parties have until July 3 to file a certificate of selection to fill a vacancy on the municipal election ballot. Independent candidates have until July 1 for the voter registration office to verify enough signatures have been obtained to run. If confirmed, independent candidates must file paperwork to run by noon July 15. As of June 26, no independent candidate had filed to run for any office in Hamilton County.

Brainard is seeking his seventh term in office. He has only faced a Democratic challenger one time, when he defeated Henry Winckler and an independent candidate by earning 66 percent of the vote.

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