INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) —Joe Hogsett hasn’t filed the paperwork yet to launch an exploratory campaign for mayor, but Republicans are already on the attack.
Wednesday they suggested that Hogsett has broken a federal law.
Joe Hogsett announced in mid-July that he would step down as U.S. Attorney at the end of last month. That same day former Senator and Hogsett friend Evan Bayh held a news conference saying, “I think he would be a great mayor.”
“Are we supposed to believe that Hogsett didn’t solicit Bayh’s support?” asked Marion County GOP Chairman Kyle Walker, the political spokesperson for Republican Mayor Greg Ballard.
Walker is now suggesting that Hogsett violated the Hatch Act. It prevents federal employees from engaging in political activity.
“There appears to be significant political coordination between Hogsett and multiple parties,” said Walker. “This activity is ethically questionable and potentially illegal.”
When Hogsett announced political plans 4 days after leaving his federal post saying, “I intend to vigorously explore (running for mayor,)” Walker says that also indicated that he was planning a campaign before he legally free to do so.
The Hogsett campaign referred reporters to Joel Miller and the Marion County Democratic Chairman rejected the claims.
“It’s pretty obvious and pretty thin in this press release that Ballard has put out,” said Miller, “that there’s nothing there.”
Walker won’t back down but he also has no proof to back up his charges.
What this tells you is that the Republicans hope to hurt Hogsett’s fundraising before it starts. They also hope to damage his reputation before he can present himself to voters.
It also tells you that could be a very competitive race for mayor.