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4 mayoral candidates answer questions and discuss issues at forum 

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Incumbent Mayor Joe Hogsett faced State Rep. Robin Shackleford, both Democrats, for the first time this year in a mayoral forum and discussed a variety of questions on important issues.  

Democrats Larry L. Vaughn and Clif Marsiglio were also present; Bob Kern was absent.  

The townhall meeting was held inside of the Indianapolis Star building downtown and moderated by Oseye Boyd, the paper’s public engagement editor.  

Roughed 50 people attended the event, which lasted about 90 minutes. The candidates discussed numerous issues, such as infrastructure, public safety, drug use control and economic development.  

The forum did not include a public comment portion, but audience members were able to send questions to the moderator ahead of time. 

One of those questions was directed at Hogsett. 

“The number of homicides has risen since you took office in 2016. Why should voters trust that your administration would be able to tackle this problem,” Boyd asked.  

“Sadly, the truth is gun violence has been on the rise in the city of Indianapolis for 20 years or more,” said Hogsett, who is seeking a third term as mayor this year. 

Hogsett said last year he implemented $150 million towards gun violence prevention and said the investment is having positive effects in the city. 

And according to Hogsett, the city had the largest single year decline in murders in the history of IMPD last year.  

Near the end of the forum, Shackleford discussed her plan for city road improvement.  

Shackleford adamantly said the city’s roads need to be correctly repaired, and that “all options are on the table,” including increasing the amount taxpayers pay. 

Shackleford said she has listened to constituents who say Department of Public Works repair crews incorrectly fill potholes. But she said, if elected, she would ensure that crews do a quality job the first time.  

The Indystar will be hosting a Republican mayoral candidate forum on March 30 at 7 p.m. Tickets for this in person event are no longer available but the event can be streamed on Facebook and YouTube

The primary election is on May 2, and the Democrat who wins the primary will face the Republican primary winner in November. 

Contact staff writer Timoria Cunningham at 317-762-7854 or timoriac@indyrecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @_timoriac.  

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