Analysis: Indianapolis Democrats win big in City-County Council, flipping 6 seats

Posted at 11:52 AM, Nov 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-06 16:06:10-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Democrats flipped six seats in the City-County Council Tuesday evening, giving them a 20-5 advantage in control of the city’s legislative branch.

Democrats flipped all the seats in the county’s northern sections, leaving only five of the southernmost districts to the Republicans. This means Democrats will have even more control over decisions made by the council. It also leaves more room for Democrats to go against the party line on some votes.

Of the six flips, four were Democrat wins over incumbent Republicans. All voting totals are from preliminary election results.

District 2 (Broad Ripple area): newcomer Keith Potts beat Republican Colleen Fanning, 62-38.

District 4 (parts of Lawrence and Geist): Democrat Ethan Evans defeated Republican Minority Leader Michael McQuillen, 52-48. McQuillen has served on the council since 2008.

District 5 (east of District 4, parts of Lawrence and Geist): Democrat Ali Brown beat Republican Adam Cox. Both were first-time candidates.

District 6 (Eagle Creek Park, Crawfordsville Road area): Democrat Crista Carlino beat incumbent Republican Janice McHenry, 52-48. McHenry was first elected in 2007.

District 15 (West side, near 10th Street and I-465): Democrat Jessica McCormick narrowly beat incumbent Republican Andy Harris, 50.46-49.54. Harris was an incumbent, but has only served since 2019 after the previous councilor retired during her term.

District 16 (South of downtown, Fountain Square): Democrat Kristen Jones beat Laura Giffel, 53-45. The current councilor, Jefferson Shreve, chose not to run for reelection.

The closest race was in District 15, where just 46 votes separated Jones and Giffel. The biggest win came from Council President Vop Osili, who beat Republican challenger Evan Shearin, 89-11.

Four openly LGBTQ Democratic candidates were elected to the council: Potts, Brown, Evans and Zach Adamson.