August 06, 2014 11:00 am
Rob Earnshaw firstname.lastname@example.org
HAMMOND | Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. has announced a re-election bid for Hammond mayor — but doesn’t rule out running for governor if former Gov. Evan Bayh decides not to run for that office.
“It’s hard to anticipate anything because things change so quickly,” he said Wednesday.
“In politics things change quickly. The bottom line is, in Democratic politics in Indiana, Evan Bayh is an institution and Tom McDermott is nowhere near that. If Evan Bayh runs for governor who wants to run against Evan Bayh? But you never want to say never.”
McDermott said his family, which includes an 8-year-old son, Patrick, also factored into his decision.
“Me running for governor at this point in time means I hit the road and I’m gone,” he said. “I’m not watching Patrick grow up, I’m not watching his Little League games.
“If I say I’m running for governor, I’ve got to go all-in. I’ve got to raise $20 million and I’ve go to travel the state of Indiana. So my announcement is I’m running for re-election as mayor, a job that I love.”
McDermott said he made his decision despite believing Bayh will not run for governor. He said no possible candidate would be able to raise much money until Bayh’s clarifies what he’s doing.
Regardless, McDermott said he’s “fired up” about all the great things Hammond is doing and enjoys overcoming obstacles to get projects done.
“I’ve been mayor 11 years and I understand the city and how it runs,” he said.
One name that’s come up as an opponent to McDermott in the 2015 mayoral race is Hammond 6th District Councilman Homero “Chico” Hinojosa. McDermott is unconvinced.
“I think Chico comes out at the last minute and files for 6th District Councilman and runs for re-election. That’s my prediction.”
Hinojosa on Wednesday said he’s not sure why McDermott would say something like that.
“I already launched my Hinojosa for Mayor website,” he said. “I have a fundraiser set and I’ll be moving forward.”
McDermott said he hasn’t heard of anyone else running but expects to have an opponent or two.
“I have a big mouth sometimes, and when you have a big mouth and you let people know about issues you find enemies, and I have plenty of them,” he said. “The bottom line is I have never had an uncontested race. I’ve had an opponent in every race and I’ve won every time. I don’t plan on losing in 2015.”
If he wins re-election, McDermott would be the first mayor in Hammond’s history to serve a fourth term.
“After 11 years of me being their mayor, I think people trust me,” he said. “They know I’m going to tell them the truth and sometimes I get in trouble for that. It’s been my success for me. If I ever did run for higher office I wouldn’t change a thing.”