State Senator Eddie Melton

Eddie Melton announces for 2023 Gary mayoral race

Contributed By: The 411 News

Gary must support her people so they can build up their communities

Word on the street in Gary that Indiana State Senator Eddie Melton would get in the 2023 Gary mayoral race proved true when Melton announced his candidacy Wednesday night.

He is the first to put his hat in the ring to unseat first-term Gary Mayor Jerome Prince.

"It's time to move past just simply reimagining without a plan whatsoever," Sen. Melton said, referring to the "Re-Imagine Gary" theme Mayor Prince used as a campaign slogan and attached it to many of the administration projects and communications.

"So often we define the city by the buildings, by the downtown structures, the infrastructure, the parks, the restaurants, and the businesses. That is not inaccurate," Melton said, "but we know the true lifeblood is the people -- the human infrastructure."

Melton asked supporters to join in his vision to "restore Gary to her true glory. We will empower and build up her people. When we build up the people, the people will build up the communities. But without proper leadership in city hall, we can't expect the people all over the city to have the resources or the inspiration to lead in our communities. That leadership, ladies and gentlemen cannot wait another four years. We need that leadership now."

Melton said that can only happen when Gary supports residents in covering their basic needs of housing, food security, childcare, health and wellness. "Under my administration, the city must ensure its police and fire departments are appropriately staffed, resourced and trained; helping residents to live in the freedom, safety and security in their own neighborhoods."

Supporters at Wednesday night's announcement gauged Melton's chance in the contest.

Carolyn McCrady, a former school teacher and now community activist said Melton is honest and will be right for Gary. "I like his chances a lot. He has good ideas. Some of his suggestions helped when we created Gary's Community Benefits Agreement."

That agreement placed demands on developers to give something back to the community when the developer received assets from the city. It was approved in December 2019 during the final month of the Freeman-Wilson administration. When Mayor Prince took office in 2020, the city council refused to accept the new administration's amendments to the agreement, sending it to be decided by the Lake County courts where it remains.

Lamar Taylor said, "It'll be a hard fight. You know people in power don't want to give it up. Melton is a good candidate."

Indiana State Rep. Ragen Hatcher said, "I think the temperature of the city right now is such that Eddie has an excellent chance. I think that so many people want to see some real things happening in the community and what's happening now is very limited to what it could be. We talk about this idea about what Indianapolis and Washington, D.C. can do for Gary and we're losing out on those opportunities. He is our light bulb."

Story Posted:11/18/2022

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