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Ryan Mears running for re-election as Marion County prosecutor

Mears served as the office’s chief trial deputy and has twelve years of experience as a deputy prosecutor in the county.

MARION COUNTY, INDIANA, Ind. — Ryan Mears officially filed his candidacy for re-election as Marion County prosecutor on Wednesday. 

Mears served as the office’s chief trial deputy and has twelve years of experience as a deputy prosecutor in the county. He took over the role of prosecutor from Terry Curry in 2019.

“I’m here to take action. Our community deserves a public safety leader committed to finding solutions with the practical experience to back up those ideas. I want to see a criminal justice system that is fair and creates a city where everyone can feel safe,” Ryan Mears stated in announcing his re-election campaign.

Shortly after stepping into the role in 2019, Mears announced a controversial stance to no longer prosecute simple marijuana cases. Mears said the decision would allow the prosecutor's office to focus on more serious and violent crimes. Hundreds of marijuana possession cases were dismissed.

“I understand the deep commitment that drives prosecutors in seeking justice for victims. I have stood in Marion County courtrooms fighting for that justice, consoling grieving families, and watching the incredible challenges faced by everyone involved. Prosecutors take on the tough cases and do the right thing, time and time again, even when it is not the easy route,” Mears said.

Credit: Mears for Indy
Ryan Mears filing his paperwork in his re-election bid for Marion County prosecutor.

Mears also started a program to help offenders with low-level offenses get them expunged. Mears believes that will help those offenders get a better job and reduce the chances of them getting into trouble again.

To help juveniles, he started the "Second Chance Program." Instead of nonviolent juvenile offenders ending up in the criminal justice system, they will get a one-year membership to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis.

Mears has faced criticism though over his stance on marijuana and for not applying Indiana's red flag law to keep guns out of the hands of the FedEx mass shooter after a previous run-in with police. Without the red flag law being used, the FedEx suspect was able to purchase a rifle legally in July of 2020 and then another rifle in September of 2020. He later went on to kill eight people and wound others in an April 21 shooting at a FedEx facility near the Indianapolis International Airport.

Mears already has a challenger in his re-election bid. On Tuesday, longtime state attorney Cyndi Carrasco said rising violence and record homicides in Marion County caused her to start a campaign.

"I just think that the status quo, quite frankly, is not working and I want to earn the opportunity to change that tide," Carrasco said. "The prosecutor needs to set the tone to say, 'this has to stop.'"

Carrasco is a state attorney who served as the state's second-ever inspector general before recently working as deputy general counsel and ethics advisor to the governor.

The 41-year-old is the first Republican to declare a campaign.