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Hogsett declares victory in re-election as Indianapolis mayor

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett won re-election Tuesday night with a sweeping victory over his Republican challenger, State Sen. Jim Merritt.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett won re-election Tuesday night with a sweeping victory.

Hogsett defeated Republican challenger State Sen. Jim Merritt to win a second term as mayor. Hogsett held a sizable lead on Merritt as early returns came in.

The incumbent claimed victory at the Athenaeum around 8:30 p.m., saying he had spoken to Merritt by phone moments earlier.

LIVE: Mayor Joe Hogsett speaks at his Election Day watch party.

Posted by WTHR-TV on Tuesday, November 5, 2019

"To the citizens of our great city, I am humbled. I am honored and I could not possibly be more excited to serve as the Indianapolis for another four years," Hogsett said.

Merritt spoke to his supporters downtown around the same time.

"I love Indianapolis and I will do anything I can from the Indiana Senate to make it a better place to live," Merritt said. "I think we did a really good job of raising issues in this campaign. We all know we're struggling with crime. We all know we're struggling with infrastructure. I'm very proud of our campaign effort."

"Having known Jim for 40 years, I know that he is now capable of becoming a champion for the numerous legislative changes he supported during this campaign," Hogsett said. "From empowering cities to keeping guns off our streets to greater protections for renters to tools we can use in the battle against food insecurity."

LIVE: Republican Sen. Jim Merritt is speaking at the RNC headquarters following election results.

Posted by WTHR-TV on Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Hogsett seemed to be cruising toward re-election in Indianapolis in the days leading up to the election, despite criticism from Merritt over continued troubles with violent crime in the city and the condition of local roads. Hogsett had raised $5.6 million for his campaign by mid-October, while Merritt reported collecting about $800,000. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb even left Merritt off a 10-city tour to boost mayoral candidates in the campaign's closing days.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)