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Bart Peterson

Bart Peterson
Bart Peterson
47th Mayor of Indianapolis
In office
January 1, 2000 – January 1, 2008
Preceded by Stephen Goldsmith
Succeeded by Gregory A. Ballard
Personal details
Born (1958-06-15) June 15, 1958
Indianapolis, Indiana
Political party Democratic
Residence Indianapolis, Indiana
Alma mater Purdue University
University of Michigan Law School

Barton "Bart" R. Peterson (born June 15, 1958) is the former mayor of the U.S city of Indianapolis, Indiana. A Democrat first elected in 1999, he was defeated in 2007 in a bid for a third term in what was widely viewed as a huge upset.

A lifelong Indianapolis resident, Peterson graduated from North Central High School before attending Purdue University. After graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, he practiced law in Indianapolis for several years before joining the staff of Governor Evan Bayh, eventually serving as the Governor's Chief of Staff.

Peterson announced his candidacy for mayor of Indianapolis in 1999 and defeated the Republican candidate, Indiana Secretary of State Sue Anne Gilroy, 52 percent to 41 percent. When Peterson took office in 2000, he became Indianapolis's first Democratic mayor since 1967. Among his accomplishments during his first term were the establishment of charter schools in the city and development of several arts and culture initiatives.

Peterson was re-elected in 2003 with 63 percent of the vote, handily defeating Republican Marion County Treasurer Greg Jordan. During his second term, he led the efforts to consolidate city and county government, merging the Indianapolis Police Department with the Marion County Sheriff's Department to form the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department under the leadership of Marion County Sheriff Frank J. Anderson, and merging several township fire departments with the Indianapolis Fire Department. He also oversaw plans to construct a new home for the Indianapolis Colts while also expanding the Indiana Convention Center. Peterson is also credited for attracting additional downtown development including the construction of a downtown Simon Property Group headquarters and Conrad Hotel tower.

Peterson was expected to easily cruise to re-election in 2007 as no well-known Republican candidates entered the race, leaving relatively unknown political newcomer Greg Ballard as his opposition. Indeed, many thought that the once-dominant Republican Party was all but dead in the city. However, largely due to high property taxes and a rising crime rate, several polls rated the race about even as election day approached. When voters went to the polls, Peterson lost to Ballard by a margin of 51 percent to 47 percent.

Prior to the election, both Democrats and Republicans considered Peterson a political star, and he had been mentioned as a candidate for governor or the United States Senate.[1] Now a "fallen star",[2] the loss prompted many pundits to declare it the biggest political upset in Indiana history.[3]

In December 2007, Peterson was mentioned as a possible candidate in the special election to fill the seat of recently deceased Congresswoman Julia Carson.[4] A few days later, Peterson ruled out a run for this office.[5]

Political offices
Preceded by
Stephen Goldsmith
Mayor of Indianapolis
Succeeded by
Greg Ballard
  • Re-Election Campaign site
  • Indianapolis Star FactFile

External links

  1. ^ [4]
  2. ^ [5]
  3. ^ [6]
  4. ^ Race for seat could divide Dems Brendan O'Shaughnessy. December 16, 2007. The Indianapolis Star.
  5. ^ Peterson won't seek Carson's House seat Brendan O'Shaughnessy. December 20, 2007. The Indianapolis Star.
  6. ^ IOP Names Spring Fellows Athena Y. Jiang. The Harvard Crimson. January 17, 2008.
  7. ^ Spring 2008 Study Groups Institute of Politics. Accessed April 18, 2008.
  8. ^ PRESS RELEASE: Living Cities Welcomes Peterson and Sten as Inaugural Distinguished Urban Fellows 'Alisa Kesten' March 27, 2008. Peterson is also a visiting professor of public policy at Ball State University where is teaching courses related to metropolitan problems and planning.
  9. ^ Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson: The Peyton Manning of Charter Schools David Skinner. Education Next. Summer 2007.
  10. ^ About Us The Mind Trust. Accessed April 18, 2008.
  11. ^ "Peterson Joining Eli Lilly As Senior VP". June 5, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 


See also

In June 2009, Peterson joined Eli Lilly and Company as senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications. This is the same position Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels previously held.[11]


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