INDIANAPOLIS - Mayor Joe Hogsett is endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, filing paperwork for Indiana’s primary on his behalf Thursday morning.
“So, with great pride and with pleasure, I join with all of the volunteers who have worked so hard to put Pete’s name on the ballot of the State of Indiana for the Presidency of the United States,” the mayor exclaimed.
Hogsett’s endorsement is big for Buttigieg, who shared the top spot in last week's Iowa caucuses. If he continues to do well in the primaries, he could still be among the favorites when Indiana primary voters head to the polls in May.
“Indiana may be a decisive state come May with our primary," said Politico contributing editor Adam Wren, who is covering the Buttigieg campaign. "Also, Hogsett is one of the biggest mayors so far to endorse Pete Buttigieg.”
The practice of mayors endorsing candidates, in general, is becoming more common this election year.
“They’re seen as sort of bipartisan, non-partisan figures who really control a lot of political machinery within their own cities that can really help get out the vote on Election Day,” said Wren.
Republican Kelly Mitchell filed for the fifth congressional district in Indiana, and she feels having mayoral support from her area is crucial to the campaign.
“It’s incredibly important," said Mitchell. "I mean, the 5th district is the place I will represent in D.C. so I need to know what’s on the ground here I need to know what’s happening here, I need to know the cares because I represent those in DC. So, it’s not at all a distant connection, it’s very very close and needs to remain so.”
Most people who participated in our Twitter poll say, a mayor’s endorsement doesn’t really matter. However, 30 percent say it depends on the mayor.
“Mayors connect with people," said Marsha Fleming of Vincennes, Indiana. "The people in your city don’t care if you are a Democrat or Republican. They only care if there is a pothole in front of their house.”
Republicans in Indianapolis were critical of Mayor Hogsett's timing, with the Indianapolis mayor endorsing Buttigieg the day after a quadruple homicide on Indy's east side that had community leaders demanding action from the city to fight crime.