Obscure retired Marine battles taxes, shakes up Indy politics

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

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 percent to 47 percent to become the first challenger in 40 years to unseat an Indianapolis mayor.


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