Candidate for Carmel’s Central District seat wants to rein in redevelopment, prevent ‘woke culture’


Chuck Ford has long been interested in politics, but his career as a teacher, coach and other positions kept him too busy to become deeply involved for many years.

Even after retiring, Ford didn’t plan to run for office, but that changed after city officials approved construction of a six-story mixed-use development adjacent to his neighborhood, despite remonstrance from many nearby residents. So, Ford, a Republican who previously attempted to limit development near the Johnson Addition neighborhood by having it named a historic district, launched a campaign for the Carmel City Council’s Central District seat in the 2023 municipal elections.

The seat is held by Bruce Kimball, who hasn’t attended a council meeting since suffering a stroke in late 2020. Ford said he believes the “rubber stamp” council’s vote not to replace Kimball has left the Central District without a dedicated voice and contributed to massive redevelopment in the district that many of its residents don’t want at that scale.

“They’re ramming all this stuff down our throat, intentionally not filling that position,” Ford said.

Not only is Ford, 72, concerned about the size of some of the city’s redevelopment projects, but he also believes the increase in apartment units many of them bring will lead to problems in the future.

“When you get apartment dwellers in large numbers, it changes the culture of the city from being a relatively comfortable-sized town and family-oriented to one that is geared more toward the 20-somethings,” he said. “Us old folks don’t mind the 20-somethings, but we don’t enjoy the same things. We have a different culture from the 20-something people who want to change our city even though they’re not going to live here very long.”

Ford, a husband, father and grandfather, grew up in La Porte but moved to Carmel in 1983 to teach at Carmel High School, where he also served as the varsity wrestling coach. He retired from teaching in 2006 and since then has worked at Miller Auto Care and as a senior account associate at Keltner, Inc., and served on the board of directors at the Tri-County Regional Sewer Utility. He founded the Carmel Community Drug Task Force and spent 15 years as the head coach of Indiana’s National Wrestling Team.

In addition to more openness and balance in city government, Ford’s campaign priorities include improving resources for Carmel’s senior citizens.

“My dream is to have a senior center that is second-to-none in the country, and this community can afford it,” Ford said. “That to me seems to be a more worthwhile cause than building a seven-story apartment complex in my backyard.”

Another campaign priority is to oppose “attempts to force a woke culture on city employees,” according to his campaign website. Ford is against the hiring of an equity manager, a position the city filled in 2022 but has remained open for several months after the employee’s firing. Ford believes those types of positions open doors to “a woke culture that the majority of Americans are against,” his website states.

“Tomorrow they’ll be telling us what we can say, and then they’ll be telling us what we can’t think. Is that where we’re at now? It is. That’s exactly where we’re at,” Ford said. “I don’t want the City of Carmel paying $90,000 to some guy to tell firemen and policemen how to use pronouns. That’s where it ends up.”

Other Republican candidates to announce campaigns for the Central District seat are Leah York, Teresa Ayers and Jonathan Blake. No Democrats have announced campaigns for the seat. Additional candidates could enter the primary races until Feb. 3, 2023, when candidate filing ends.

Learn more about Ford and his campaign at