South Bend mayoral candidates begin to announce their intentions

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Friday brought a second confirmed candidate to the race for South Bend mayor, and several developments regarding potential candidates.

If you thought current Mayor Pete Buttigieg was young for being in his 20s when elected, “I'll be the youngest mayor of a city of this size, I'll be the first black mayor and I'll be the first Latino mayor,” said declared Democratic candidate Shane Inez, 19. “All my life, I was told that if I wanted to make a change, a good place to start would be to be the change that I want to see.”

The only other declared mayoral candidate at this point lies more toward the other end of the experience spectrum.

“Our group and our team has been tested. We are 12 years here that we have been tested in leadership. We didn't just jump in the race and say, ‘Oh, yeah, we're going to run.’ No, we have been working with the people of South Bend,” said Oliver Davis, a 12-year member of the South Bend Common Council. “There are many things that we need to do to help tie our city together, so I'm the ‘bow tie guy.’ I'm the guy that brings the city together.”

While Oliver Davis bowed up to declare his candidacy, Aaron Perri bowed out.

“At the end of the day, I’m extremely excited to double down on my efforts related to Venues, Parks and Arts. We’ve got a great team here. We’ve got a historic amount of work underway right now,” the VPA director said. “At this point in time, I don’t think it’s a good fit for me.”

Councilman Tim Scott won’t run either — at least not for mayor. Scott said he’ll file for re-election soon to his District 1 council seat.

Although Jason Critchlow is still in the "maybe" mayoral candidate category, on Friday, he did resign as the St. Joseph County Democratic Party Chairman.

“I know there's a lot of questions about what my intentions are, and I plan to make an announcement early next week,” Critchlow said. “I think there's a lot of people that just want to be able to jump in there and continue that progress and continue that momentum and continue seeing the city move forward, and there's a lot of people like me that just love the city and are very invested in the city's future.”

The list of interested parties includes James Mueller, who took a leave of absence as director of South Bend’s Community Investment Department to concentrate on a possible candidacy.

Councilwoman Regina Williams-Preston formed a committee to explore a potential candidacy.