Expensive mayoral campaign winds down

Mayor Greg Ballard met with voters Tuesday.
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The most expensive Indianapolis mayor's race in history is winding down.

After a grueling year-long campaign, Democrat Melina Kennedy and Republican Greg Ballard weren't about to slack off on election day, whether it was stopping by a phone bank or greeting voters at the polls.

On the surface, at least, both were upbeat Tuesday.

"Been to different polling sites and it's positive. A lot say they're voting because of me, so turnout is good," said Ballard.

"As we've talked, I've heard them mention my vision plan, jobs and education, so I'm optimistic and it's good to see the turnout," said Kennedy.

Though early voting set records, election day voting was described as "steady." What that means to the outcome is best left to pundits, but the mayor's race will go down as the most expensive in Indianapolis history, with both candidates raising more than $6 million combined.

"I'm always disappointed that money is spent to bring people's attention to matters," said voter Danica Hostettler.

Much of that money was spent on TV ads, which many voters, but not all, found increasingly nasty.

"We've had some bad negativity over the years. I'm 67 years old, so I know, but it's been worse. This ain't nothing," said voter Mae Sandifer.

Libertarian Chris Bowen ran a bare-bones campaign, as did many of the City-County Council candidates, whose biggest challenge was simply getting their names out. John Barth is running for an at-large seat.

"Running at-large is tough, because you're running countywide, but you don't have the money or the attention of the mayoral candidates, but it's equally important. Really, it's just getting boots on the ground," said Barth.

But District 9 candidate Sally Spiers says she's okay being one of the lesser-known candidates.

"They can be the glamour people. I'm fine under the radar, just getting out and meeting people. There are fewer slings and arrows down here," she said.