Indianapolis Mayor Ballard hints at future plans

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Will he run again and if not, what's next for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard? Many around town are speculating about the mayor's future. The talk is the mayor's been talking to Cathedral High School, his alma mater, about a job there.

Asked about it Thursday afternoon, Ballard said, " wouldn't read too much into that. I mean, just personally, if I do or I don't, we'll find out by the end of the year. I guarantee you that."

When pressed further, he said, "When I go to people - I may have told you this a couple of days ago...I say, 'what do you think I should do?' I do have quite a few people who say, 'well, if you decide not to, come back'....I will tell you anything associated with Cathedral is pretty good. It's a great school."

Cathedral President Steve Helmich said he planned to retire in 2016, but also said it was too early to speculate on who might replace him.

Helmich said they've "just begun to talk about the process" of how to find his successor, whether they'd use a consultant to head the search.

He said the job has not been posted and the mayor hasn't approached him with any questions, but he added, "we sure hope for someone of the caliber of Mayor Ballard coming to Cathedral."

Ballard has said he and his wife Winnie have much to consider in the coming weeks. Ballard turns 60 in three months. He and Winnie are "empty-nesters," they're getting closer to retirement.

He's also told Eyewitness News that his decision to run again is "probably a little more difficult this time. Eight years can wear on you a little bit and do you want to keep going forward?"

Indianapolis has seen a dramatic jump in homicides this year. It's on track to be the highest in seven years. The mayor has been campaigning hard for his his anti-crime initiative, which involves getting more officers on the streets as well as a pre-K funding program.

He's clashed with council Democrats over how to fund it as well as his Rebuild Indy II program.

Ballard also faces a tough challenge from Democrats. Both former U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett and State Rep. Ed Delaney are expected to square-off for the Democratic nomination. Whoever wins is presumed to be well-funded.

The mayor said his decision will come down to "what's best for me and Winnie... I don't think like a normal guy in this office, I suppose. My motivation is probably a bit different, so I'm just trying to do what I can for the city right now. Winnie and I are a little older. We're not 40 years old anymore so we're gonna have to look at what to do."

Former State Senator Murray Clark has been mentioned as a possible candidate should Ballard decide not to run.

Clark said, "until he decides, I won't give it much thought."

Was it something he would consider?

Clark said, "I might consider it if it happens... but he's our best chance of winning, so I'd like to see him run."

For now, the mayor will continue to keep people guessing.

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