Carmel city councilor Finkam announces 2023 run for mayor


Sue Finkam is proud of the role she’s played in Carmel’s growth and success in the last decade as a city councilor representing the Northeast District.

With her political experience and business success as an entrepreneur, Finkam believes she’s fine-tuned the skills needed to pursue a new position: mayor of Carmel.

CIC COM 1115 SF Sue Finkam

“I’ve been working for several years as a business executive, building brands, building prosperous businesses, and alongside that serving as a leader in city government,” Finkam said. “I can bring those two things together and be the mayor that builds on what (Mayor) Jim Brainard has built the last 27 years.”

Brainard, a Republican, announced in September that he would not seek an eighth term in office. Finkam, also a Republican, said she’s considered “off and on” running for mayor, and with Brainard not seeking reelection, the timing seemed right.

At-large Carmel City Councilor Kevin “Woody” Rider has also announced a run for mayor and will face Finkam in the Republican primary in May 2023.

Finkam said among her campaign issues are ensuring that Carmel remains a safe community and that its policies promote financial security for the city and taxpayers. She believes city officials are doing many things right but that there is room for improvement.

“It’s been said by others, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ but I disagree with that mentality,” Finkam said. “There are a lot of opportunities that we’ve left on the table, and I want to be the one to take it and exploit it and make it work for Carmel taxpayers.”

For example, Finkam would like to see additional investment in IT initiatives, which she said are “woefully underfunded.” She supports expanding smart city capabilities that use high-tech sensors and other methods to collect data that can be used to improve city operations and make them more efficient.

Finkam joined the city council in 2012 and has been reelected twice. She has not held or run for other elected positions.

She said she has been honored to serve as a district councilor for more than a decade and that she looks forward to engaging all Carmel residents.

“One thing I’ve heard the last couple months listening to (Carmel residents) is they want to have more of a voice in their community,” Finkam said. “I want them to know I’m here and ready for them.”

Finkam earned a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in management from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Finkam is the founder and CEO of Fire Starter LLC, which offers marketing support for organizations during times of leadership turnover.

Finkam and her husband, Joe, have one son and have lived in Carmel for 15 years.

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