Mayor Ballard faces Democratic-controlled council

Ballard supporters gathered downtown to celebrate his victory.

The hotly contested race for Indianapolis mayor is over. Incumbent Greg Ballard has come out on top. 

Ballard defeated Democratic challenger Melina Kennedy by a margin of more than 7,500 votes. But now Ballard may face an uphill battle.

See all results here.

Ballard, a Republican, will have to deal with  Democratic majority in the City-County Council. It appears the Democrats will end up holding a 17-12 majority. Projects like the Georgia Street renovation may be more complicated now for the mayor to push through.

It was expected to be a tight race pitting Kennedy, a former deputy mayor, against Ballard who, prior to his election four years ago, was an unknown political outsider.

During his first term, the mayor has overseen perhaps the biggest public works initiative in Indianapolis history.  Funded by the city sale of the water company, hundreds of miles of streets and sidewalks are being ripped up and replaced. 

It's hard to find a neighborhood that isn't touched in some way. Overall crime is down, and the privatization of the city's parking meters, although not without its critics, has led to modernization of the meters along with increased hourly rates downtown and in Broad Ripple.

During his victory speech the mayor repeated what he'd said in his election ads: he's not finished.

"I am especially grateful to the voters of Indianapolis. It is one of the greatest honors of my life to have your trust and to represent everyone in this great city of ours. We know that the progress must continue. I will work hard every day as I have the last four years, another four years to work hard to keep Indianapolis moving forward," said Ballard.

Once the applause dies down a new reality will settle in.  The Ballard administration will have to deal with the Democratic-led council.