Indianapolis' Mayor-Elect: A Political Lesson

By Peter Ambrose

June 18, 2010 Updated Nov 19, 2007 at 6:29 AM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A few months ago, Greg Ballard was a virtual
unknown - an obscure Republican mayoral nominee trying to unseat
Indianapolis' well-funded, two-term incumbent mayor.

Now, he's the mayor-elect of the nation's 13th-largest city, a tax opponent held up for admiration by President Bush, whom he met last week when Bush visited New Albany.

For political incumbents everywhere, Ballard's story is a lesson\ in what can happen if voters are in the mood for change.

The 52-year-old retired Marine Corps officer says he never doubted that he could unseat Democrat Bart Peterson. He overcame
little name recognition and a more than 12-1 fundraising disadvantage to pull off one of the biggest upsets in modern Indiana election history.

Ballard defeated Peterson 51% to 47% to become the first challenger in 40 years to unseat an Indianapolis mayor.

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