INDIANAPOLIS — In the ever-growing suburban cities of Carmel, Westfield, and Zionsville there are contested political primaries for mayor.

The contest that will usher in the greatest change will be in Carmel, where Jim Brainard is stepping down after seven terms spent shaping that city.

Brainard also has a preferred successor, restauranteur, and City Council Member Kevin “Woody” Rider. Brainard’s endorsement of Rider is promoted through the candidate’s Facebook page.

“It certainly matters because this is a mayor that has built up a lot of good will in certain corners of the community, has been here a long time and if there was an endorsement at all that mattered in the race, it was this one,” said Adam Wren.

Wren is a National Reporter for Politico. He also is the author of the online newsletter ‘Importantville’, that chronicles local politics including the Carmel mayoral race.

Wren assessed the GOP primary this way, “I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch that Kevin ‘Woody’ Rider in terms of cash on hand or a broad base of support and name I-D is a favorite in this race.”

In the Republican primary along with Rider is businesswoman and fellow City Council Member Sue Finkam, who Wren notes has raised the most campaign cash in the race. Also in the contest, businessman and former Hamilton County Council Member Fred Glynn.

The winner will face Democrat Miles Nelson. The Carmel City Council Member is running unopposed in the Democratic primary.

North of Carmel, a trio of Republicans face off in the mayoral primary there. The candidates include Kristen Burkman, who’s worked at Delta Faucet for 13-years and has served on the Westfield Advisory Plan Commission. Also in the race is former US Marine and local businessman Scott Willis, and Jake Gilbert who’s been the head coach of the Westfield High School football team as well the head of the Social Studies Department at the school.

In neighboring Boone County, there is just a Republican primary race to be the next mayor of Zionsville. The two candidates are both long-time city residents. Jane Burgess is a former teacher and served three terms on the Zionsville school board. Award-winning  former Channel 13 anchor/reporter John Stehr is also in the race.