Ballard wins re-election for Indianapolis mayor
Greg Ballard has won re-election as Indianapolis mayor. Eyewitness News called the race shortly after 8:30 pm.
Ballard beat Democratic challenger Melina Kennedy with 51 percent of the vote, compared to 47 percent for Kennedy after all precincts had reported. Libertarian candidate Christopher Bowen received one percent of the vote.
Ballard, a Republican, won election to the mayor's office in 2007 in an upset over Democrat Bart Peterson.
Ballard gave his victory speech in front of cheering supporters, his voice often rising in excitement.
"We did it again. First I wanna thank my wife Winnie. She has been a really strong partner from the very beginning. She's done an amazing job helping to represent our entire city, our great city. Hasn't she just been the best first lady of Indianapolis ever?" he said.
The mayor thanked Marion County Republicans as well as "thousands of donors and volunteers who believed in us and put their hearts into this campaign and a special thanks to those who stood up very courageously to do so. And there are a lot of those folks out there."
"It's pretty humbling to have so many people working so hard to continue progress in this city. You helped take the message to voters and the voters agreed with us," he said to cheers.
"We take very seriously our responsibility to represent everyone in this city with an open and honest government," the mayor said.
He said he was humbled to serve for the past four years, saying, "I have seen firsthand the character of the people of Indianapolis" and that there are "thousands of people out there who are truly committing to help others." The mayor said he would work to "provide an opportunity for everyone in every neighborhood of our city and we will do that."
The mayor also talked about his economic initiatives, saying, "we must be the best city in the Midwest." He told supporters that he wanted Indianapolis to be globally recognized and inclusive, and as a place where families want to live."
"I'm especially grateful to the voters of Indianapolis. It is one of the greatest honors of my life to have your trust and to represent everyoIe in this great city of ours."
RNC Chairman Priebus Statement on the Indianapolis Mayoral Election:
"On behalf of the Republican National Committee, I congratulate Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard on his much-deserved re-election. For the last four years, Mayor Ballard has been a capable and effective chief executive for Indiana's largest city. Indianapolis voters have given their stamp of approval to his principled leadership and we look forward to further Republican victories in Indiana in 2012."
Melina Kennedy concession
Kennedy thanked her supporters and referred to a hard-fought race, but called for the city to pull together.
"This campaign has been tough. The mayor and I have often differed, but I've always respected his dedication to this city. I know this is difficult and I know that along the way there have been many differences. But I know that the ties of the community are what binds us all together," said Melina Kennedy.
"Sometimes those ties have been strained by a long, hard-fought campaign, but as a community we cannot forget that we are also tied by common issues that are so important to us as parents, struggling schools, crime on our streets and thousands of jobs lost. Challenges that no single person, no political party can conquer alone. Challenges that take an entire city working together to solve. Challenges that now require us to come together and work together. Friends, it's now time to come together and work together with our newly elected council, our re-elected candidates and make a difference in this city which is what this has all been about," Kennedy said.
"Over the last two years I've met some amazing people along the way. Because of the issues that we've raised and the people that I've met, this has been worth it every step of the way. And to the thousands of volunteers who have donated their time and their resources making phone calls, helping me understand the issues, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you so much for your time and your support. To all of you who manned the precincts and walked around your neighborhoods, your energy sustained me. Your smiles kept me going and your hard work uplifted me," she said.
"To the police officers and the Fraternal Order of Police who helped me and supported me, thank you for fighting every day to keep our families safe," said Kennedy.
She also thanked her campaign team and her family. "Thank you so much. You mean the world to me," Kennedy said.