By IndyStar’s Tom LoBianco, Tony Cook and Brian Eason
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 19, 2015)– Indianapolis businessman and Iraq War veteran Chuck Brewer is the Marion County Republican Party’s choice to run for mayor, according to our media partners at the Indianapolis Star.
Brewer told The Indianapolis Star on Monday that he is entering the race for mayor, bringing to end months of speculation as to whom the party would recruit to run against Democrat Joe Hogsett.
Brewer served two tours in Iraq as an operations officer, overseeing 537 Marines on multiple bases, and now runs Potbelly Sandwich Works and Soupremacy.
Brewer said that he would look to expand on the resurgence in economic development in Downtown Indianapolis and focus on areas like job creation and improved education as a long-term strategy for dealing with crime.
“I love this city, and when I was researching cities to open up my Potbellys, I chose to call Indianapolis home, and now I want to make it a place that even more people want to call home,” Brewer told The Star on Monday.
Brewer enters a crowded field of Republicans, just weeks before a critical filing deadline, but carries the powerful imprimatur of a party that has struggled this cycle to recruit a top-tier candidate. Three Republicans have entered the race so far: Jocelyn-Tandy Adande, a notary public who has run unsuccessfully for a slew of public offices in the past, was the first to file; Terry Michael, a former Fall Creek Township trustee; and Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams, who announced his candidacy Monday.
Mayor Greg Ballard’s Nov. 6 announcement that he would not seek a third term left the GOP scrambling for a candidate, as one prospect after another declined to run. Days later, former state Sen. Murray Clark became the first to decline the party’s invitation to the race. Then, over the following weeks, state Sen. Jim Merritt and Public Safety Director Troy Riggs each ruled out a campaign.
Whoever survives the Republican primary will face a well-funded Democrat in Hogsett, a former U.S. attorney who announced a $1.4 million haul through the end of last year.
As of the end of the day Friday, Brewer had not filed for mayor (city-county offices were closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday) but he is set to leave a race for City-County Council District 23 that he announced just last week.
Brewer brings a strong resume to the race — touting an MBA from Northwestern University and a master’s from Harvard on his Facebook page. He served in Iraq with the Marines and was vice president for Sears in Chicago before moving to Indianapolis