Hoosier Dems make historic progress in 2019 municipal elections


INDIANAPOLIS – For the first time, Hoosier Democrats will hold the mayor’s office in Zionsville and seats on city councils in Carmel and Fishers. Democrats won commanding victories for mayor in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and New Albany, added a council majority in Columbus and strengthened council majorities in Evansville and Portage. The historic wins fit into the Party’s plan to use strategic investments in 2019 to generate momentum leading into 2020 according to Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody.

“In 2019, we set out to expand the battleground and build our Party’s diverse bench,” said Zody. “In 2020, Democrats will hold elected office in Zionsville, Carmel and Fishers. Big wins in suburbs across the state are setting the table for 2020.”

Historic wins in suburbs

Emily Styron will become the first female mayor of Zionsville and Miles Nelson, Sam DeLong and Jocelyn Vare will become the first Democrats elected to city councils in Carmel and Fishers, respectively. Democrats flipped the council in Columbus – hometown of the former governor and Vice President and won commanding majorities in Portage and Evansville. The victories underscore the shifting dynamic in the Indiana suburbs.

Democrats scored big wins in the 5th Congressional District, including mayor’s offices in Tipton, Anderson, Elwood, Zionsville and Indianapolis in addition to historic wins in Hamilton County.

“It’s undeniable, the suburbs are up for grabs in 2020,” said Zody. “Big wins in 2019 cement the 5th Congressional District’s status as a battleground next year. Anyone who says otherwise isn’t paying attention.”  

Hoosier Democrats had 840 candidates on the ballot statewide. More than 300 Hoosier Democratic women, 140 diverse candidates and nearly 100 Young Democrats stepped up to run.

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