INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 19, 2015) – Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams spent the weekend praying with his wife, talking to his sons, watching the Colts and deciding to run for his boss’ job as the mayor of Indianapolis.
Williams will file paperwork declaring his candidacy as a Republican candidate within the next week.
The Marion County Republican Party has pushed back its deadline to file for its Jan. 31 slating convention to this Wednesday.
“I welcome my good friend to the campaign,” said Rev. Charles Harrison who is mulling over his own independent bid for mayor. “Olgen Williams would make a good mayor.”
Williams’ decision comes as local GOP bosses are preparing to announce their choice for mayor.
Sources indicate the party has tabbed a retired businessman who is set to bring his own seven-figure fortune to the campaign.
Incumbent Greg Ballard announced in November he would not seek a third term as mayor.
Williams has served as one of Ballard’s top deputies for seven years.
As the former director of Christamore House, the longtime westside resident has often been referred to as the “Mayor of Haughville.”
Williams was convicted of theft and served time in federal prison in the 1970s.
He later received a presidential pardon.
“The three greatest days in my life,” Williams told a crowd at Martin University last fall, “was the day I found Jesus Christ, the day I married Mary Williams and started having all these kids and the day I graduated from Martin University.”
Williams, the father of ten children, becomes the most high profile Republican to announce his intentions for the November election.
Former U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett declared his candidacy in November to run as a Democrat.
Hogsett reported raising approximately $1.4 million for his bid.
GOP insiders told CBS4 that the party’s delay in declaring a candidate has convinced some Republican donors to sit on the sidelines or cross partisan lines and support Hogsett in anticipation of his victory in Democratic-leaning Marion County.
Mayor Ballard has refused to play an active role in choosing his successor or hand grooming a Republican candidate, noting that he came virtually out of nowhere during the summer of 2007’s property tax revolt to defeat incumbent Bart Peterson in an upset victory.