Spoilers alert—Bobby Knight dies—Mitch for Shreve
Mitch Daniels: "I’m breaking with an 11-year practice of refraining from any involvement or public statements about electoral politics beyond fulfilling my citizen’s duty of voting."
FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS: BOB KNIGHT DEAD AT 83.
Back in 2018, I wrote about Knight, politics, and Indiana basketball for POLITICO Magazine.
Donald Trump to Jim Banks in the Oval Office back then:
“You got to tell me, did Bobby Knight or Mike Pence get me more votes in Indiana?
“No question that Bobby Knight won the primary for you,” replied Banks, somewhat in jest, while standing next to the vice president, whom he had requested appear in the post-meeting photo op.
“Bobby Knight is such a great man—great man,” Trump said to Banks, the congressman told me years back.
GOV. ERIC HOLCOMB ON KNIGHT’S PASSING: “Coach Robert Montgomery Knight was a towering basketball figure and fighter, second to none. As a National Champion he became synonymous with our state and what Hoosier’s are all about: hard work, practice makes perfect, teamwork and a commitment to excellence. His teams were built around student-athletes and his influence prepared them for life after the ball stopped bouncing. There will never be another Coach Knight and the banners that hang in Assembly Hall will forever remind us of his time, impact and dominance. When Indiana builds our Mount Rushmore of Basketball, The General will surely be on it.”
FIRST IN IMPORTANTVILLE: Indianapolis Republican mayoral candidate Jefferson Shreve, the wealthy former storage executive locked into the most expensive race in the city’s history at more than $20 million, tells me he is no longer spending money on polling.
“I just made the choice not to spend more money on polling in the last month,” Shreve told me this morning. In recent weeks, public and private polls him trailing incumbent Democratic Mayor Joe Hogsett.
BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump comes out in favor of Sen. Mike Braun in the gubernatorial race, potentially deeply undercutting the gubernatorial bids of other Republican candidates Brad Chambers, Suzanne Crouch, Eric Doden and Curtis Hill in what is shaping up to be a very Trumpy environment next May. The news comes as Donald Trump Jr. is expected to visit the state next week for an event with Rep. Jim Banks.
“I am honored to have former President Donald J. Trump’s endorsement, as together we enacted the America First conservative economic agenda that lowered taxes, created good-paying Hoosier jobs, confirmed constitutionalists on the Supreme Court who protected life, and began building the wall to reduce illegal immigration. Like him, I'm a businessman who got involved in politics because I was worried about the direction of America and the politicians who failed to put the people first. In 2018, President Trump was incredibly helpful as together we defeated liberal Democrat Joe Donnelly, and his support will undoubtedly help in my journey to bring conservative Main Street solutions to Indiana.”
The only of Braun’s rivals to immediately respond to a request for comment was Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, who said: “I’m working to get the endorsement of Hoosier voters. They want lower taxes, secure borders, and a stronger fight against crime. I’m just getting started.”
MITCH DITCHES POLITICAL SILENCE
Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is swearing off what is perhaps the most porous political vow of silence ever taken to back Shreve in the mayoral race. He drafted a letter to Marion County voters, the full text of which is below.
Reminder: Daniels won Marion County by nearly 50,000 votes—14 points—in 2008. If political endorsements still matter in 2023, it’s his:
By writing you today, I’m breaking with an 11-year practice of refraining from any involvement or public statements about electoral politics beyond fulfilling my citizen’s duty of voting. From the moment I accepted employment at one of our state’s many fine public universities, I thought it inappropriate to be anything but neutral and silent about any aspect of partisan politics.
I left that job at the beginning of this year, but until today had not taken any public political stance. But watching the alarming decline of a city that had risen to genuine greatness has led me to make an exception, and urge you to vote for change by supporting Jefferson Shreve for Mayor on November 7th.
It’s only right for me to point out that, after a half century as an Indianapolis resident, I have lived for the last few years just outside the city limits. If in your view this disqualifies me from voicing an opinion, I accept that judgment. But all of us in the metro area, in fact all Hoosiers everywhere, have a big stake in the continued success of the city we love.
We have been blessed with a great run of mayors, of both political parties. Collectively they built from what was once called “India-no-place” a vibrant, safe, clean city, a good place for people of all kinds to live and work together. Now, escalating crime, crumbling streets, public vagrancy and other problems threaten to undo all those years of remarkable progress.
I harbor no ill will toward the current mayor or any member of his administration. I know them to be good and well-motivated people. But if they had any plan or vision for restoring Indianapolis to the upward trajectory we had come to expect, we would have seen it over the last eight years.
Jefferson Shreve is a proven job creator who is deeply knowledgeable about both the community and the government he hopes to lead. I have come to admire both his character and his acumen, and believe he represents Indy’s best chance, maybe its last chance, to remain a first-rate city.
I hope you’ll give our city that chance by voting for Jefferson Shreve November 7th.
In response, a Hogsett campaign spokesman told IMPORTANTVILLE:
"Mayor Joe will remain focused on continuing to expand his broad-based support from those who call Indianapolis home. The Mayor has enjoyed a good working relationship with Governor Daniels and looks forward to continued collaboration on higher education in the city of Indianapolis."
CONTEXT: Daniels’ first political job was serving as an aide to then-Indianapolis Mayor Dick Lugar alongside Teresa Lubbers, the celebrated former state senator and Indiana commissioner of higher education, who is married to Shreve consigliere Mark Lubbers.
ELECTION NIGHT PLANS
JOE HOGSETT will host the campaign’s watch party at Kountry Kitchen’s 910 North Event Center, located at 1831 North College Avenue. Hogsett will be joined by Marion County Democratic Party leaders, City-County Council candidates, and local volunteers as results from the 2023 Municipal Election are announced.
JEFFERSON SHREVE will host his party at the The Heirloom at N.K Hurst at 230 W. McCarty St.
SUE FINKAM will host her party at the the Carmel Fire Buffs and Fire Department Museum Community Room at 210 Veterans Way.
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