My wife (The Lovely Mrs. Shabazz) is the happiest woman in Marion County. 

Abdul mug

She is happy because, after three months, she has her husband back, and things in our household are on the road back to normalcy. Or as normal as things can get with all our jobs and two dogs. 

As you are well aware, we lost the municipal primary in the race to get the Republican nomination for mayor of Indianapolis. We came in second with about 26 percent of the vote. We lost to former City-County Council member Jefferson Shreve who spent about $2 million of his own money to win. I have to give credit where credit is due on his victory. As far as I know, this is the first time anyone has spent that kind of cash on a municipal primary in Indiana. And I wish him the best of luck going forward. 

So why did I decide to throw my hat into the ring? 

Well, the answer is pretty simple. I was not crazy about the direction the city was heading. 

I always felt Indianapolis was a bit of a drift, and a malaise was hanging over the city’s head.  And then came the George Floyd riots. 

I will give the city the first day of the disturbances, but there was no excuse for the second day. 

I was upset that city leadership (not IMPD) basically let the city burn. I was even more upset that no one on the 25th floor responded to the governor's request to send in the National Guard. From what I was able to gather, the governor's office made numerous calls to the mayor's office to offer assistance, but no one got back to them, so they sent in troops to protect state property.

I still wonder to this day where Joe Hogsett was, and I intend to find out. 

Nonetheless, it got me thinking that maybe it was time to stop talking about the city's problems and start doing something about it. 

So I scrapped together a few bucks and did some polling, and here are the three numbers that were most revealing. Only 22 percent of voters thought the city was on the right track, about 33 percent thought Hogsett should get a third term, and about 42 percent of Democrats at the time said they would vote for him. 

That 33 per cent number was most intriguing. Why? Hogsett got more than 28,000 primary votes, or 36 percent of the total votes cast. Two things to take away from that. First, 64 percent of voters (R & D) chose someone else; more importantly, that 36 percent aligns with our polling. The last time I saw numbers like that was back in 2007, Bart Peterson vs. Greg Ballard. And we know how that ended.

So, with that data, and throw in crime and our ridiculous murder rate, along with property taxes, and the fundamentals were there for an upset. The trick was to win the primary and convince independents and thoughtful Democrats that they should vote for yours truly.

What’s the phrase, “the best-laid schemes of mice and men.” 

So, I put together a team, and we gave it a shot. 

Unfortunately, we fell short of our goal. But it wasn’t a total loss. 

I met a lot of great people along the way, and it was fantastic to see the excitement generated by my candidacy. Second, now having been a candidate, I can be an even better commentator and political analyst having that experience. 

Am I somewhat disappointed in the results? Yes. Am I upset that I ran? Not at all. 

It gave me an opportunity to share my ideas regarding public safety, public works and public trust. 

And for that, I am very grateful. 

Now it’s back to punditry and taking better care of myself. 

Thanks for everything.

Abdul-Hakim Shabazz is the editor and publisher of Indy Politics. He is also a licensed attorney in both Indiana and Illinois.

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