RICHMOND, Ind. (Oct. 26, 2015) – For the first time in more than a decade, the city of Richmond will choose a new mayor next week.
Two candidates are vying for the top spot – Democrat and former radio personality Dave Snow and longtime Republican businessman Kyle Ingram.
“This is the largest changing of the guard this city has almost seen in 15 years,” Snow said. “This is a very big deal.”
Outgoing mayor Sally Hutton is not seeking re-election.
Both Snow and Ingram are political outsiders, professing their deep love for Richmond, yet both seeing different challenges standing in the way.
“It’s been an issue only because we’ve chosen not to patriciate,” Ingram said, adding the city sat silent while the state ushered in sweeping tax incentives for businesses.
“The state of Indiana is doing really pretty well,” he said. “But for whatever reason we here in Richmond haven’t wanted to go to the party that the state of Indiana is throwing.”
Snow said he would direct his initial focus on the workforce already living in Richmond.
“It’s my job to cut some of this red tape at city hall,” Snow said. “Making sure everyone has the open pathways to get where they need to go. So if we have people that are unemployed, what tools do we need to provide them to get them back into employment? If they`re underemployed, how can they move up the chain?”
Both candidates are also talking about the city’s heroin problem.
Ingram said he’ll create a new program where addicts can directly ask city officials for help, including himself.
“So instead of taking you to jail or being handcuffed, we can now take you to a clinic to begin the process of helping you turn your life around,” Ingram said.
Snow adds the problem incorporates two sides.
“We have a community side and a law enforcement side,” he said. “And the community has to deal with the demand while the law enforcement deals with the supply.”
Retail politics in a city 36,000 strong will come down to turnout.
“I truly believe in a city our size, this is a ground war,” Snows said. “It’s to be fought on the ground face-to-face.”
And that’s why in the remaining few days both Snow and Ingram will be pushing their names, then their policies.
“You learn some things from the folks in the city,” Ingram said. “And that’s probably been the most beneficial thing of this entire campaign.”