Joe Hogsett

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Joe Hogsett
Indianapolis' second annual Juneteenth celebration, 2019-06-22 at Riverside Park P062219AZS (48140645388) (cropped).jpg
Hogsett in 2019
49th Mayor of Indianapolis
Assumed office
January 1, 2016
Preceded byGreg Ballard
United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana
In office
September 30, 2010 – July 31, 2014
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byTimothy M. Morris
Succeeded byJoshua Minkler
Chair of the Indiana Democratic Party
In office
February 20, 2003 – June 21, 2004
Preceded byPeter Manous
Succeeded byKipper Tew
57th Secretary of State of Indiana
In office
January 9, 1989 – December 1, 1994
GovernorEvan Bayh
Preceded byEvan Bayh
Succeeded bySue Anne Gilroy
Personal details
Joseph Hadden Hogsett

(1956-11-02) November 2, 1956 (age 66)
Rushville, Indiana, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseStephanie Hogsett
EducationIndiana University Bloomington (BA, JD)
Christian Theological Seminary (MDiv)

Joseph Hadden Hogsett (born November 2, 1956) is an American attorney, prosecutor, and politician who is the 49th mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana. Prior to being elected, Hogsett served as the Secretary of State of Indiana from 1989 to 1994 and as the Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party from 2003 to 2004. He was the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1992, for Indiana's 2nd congressional district in 1994 and for Attorney General of Indiana in 2004. He most recently served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana from 2010 to 2014. On November 3, 2015, he won the race for Mayor of Indianapolis in the 2015 election. He won reelection to a second term in 2019.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Hogsett was born in Rushville, Indiana, in 1956. He graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis and a Juris Doctor from Indiana University School of Law – Bloomington (now Indiana University Maurer School of Law). He went on to serve as a clerk for the Monroe County Superior Court and many civic and charitable positions.

Secretary of State[edit]

In 1986 Hogsett served as campaign manager for Evan Bayh's successful bid for Secretary of State of Indiana. Bayh tapped Hogsett to serve in the position of deputy Secretary of State. Hogsett then managed Bayh's successful campaign for Governor of Indiana two years later and was appointed by Bayh to the office of Secretary of State that Bayh had vacated. Hogsett won reelection against Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut in 1990. Hogsett received 775,163 votes (51.83%) and Hudnut received 719,314 votes (48.10%).[2] Hogsett served as Secretary of State until December 1, 1994, when he declined to run for re-election.[3] As of 2021 he is the last Democrat to occupy the office of Indiana Secretary of State.

Congressional and Senate elections[edit]

In 1992, Hogsett ran for the U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent Dan Coats. Coats, who had been appointed to the seat by Governor Robert D. Orr in 1989 after Dan Quayle resigned to become Vice President of the United States, had won a special election in 1990 to serve out the remainder of Quayle's term and was seeking a full 6-year term in office. Hogsett lost to Coats by 900,148 votes (40.8%) to 1,267,972 (57.3%), carrying 13 of the state's 92 counties

In 1994, Hogsett ran to succeed retiring Democratic Congressman Philip Sharp of Indiana's 2nd congressional district. He faced Republican David M. McIntosh and lost by 78,241 votes (45.5%) to 93,592 (54.5%), in a year when the Republicans made sweeping gains.

Despite having been recruited by state Democratic Party leaders, Hogsett declined to run in the 2000 2nd congressional district election.[4]

Democratic Party Chairman and Attorney General election[edit]

In February 2003, Hogsett became Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party after incumbent Chairman, Peter Manous, resigned.[5][6] Hogsett then resigned in June 2004 so that he could run for Attorney General of Indiana. He was replaced by Kip Tew to be party Chairman.[7][8]

Hogsett lost to Republican incumbent Steve Carter. Carter received 1,389,640 votes (58.18%), Hogsett received 953,500 votes (39.92%) and Libertarian Aaron Milewski received 45,212 votes (1.89%).[9]

United States Attorney[edit]

Hogsett's official portrait as U.S. Attorney, 2010

In July 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Hogsett to be United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, succeeding Timothy M. Morris. He went on to be unanimously confirmed by a full vote of the US Senate.

Hogsett's tenure was marked by an aggressive approach in combating violent crime, public corruption, child exploitation and civil rights violations. Local commentators have described Hogsett's efforts as bringing "more muscle to crimefighting," and he has launched a number of initiatives related to these priorities.[10]

Violent Crime Initiative[edit]

In March 2011, Hogsett announced the creation of a Violent Crime Initiative, saying at the time that "for too many young people, it is easier to get a gun than an education. That is unacceptable."[11]

Hogsett said that the "VCI," as it has come to be known, would have four priorities: (1) Prosecute more gun crimes than ever before and increase efforts to identify and vigorously prosecute in federal court violent repeat offenders and criminal gangs, especially those who use guns to further their illegal activities and criminal enterprises. (2) Increase the use of law enforcement and prosecution tools such as court-authorized wiretaps, undercover and covert operations, surveillance, search warrants and use of the grand jury to develop the best possible cases. (3) Actively utilize federal drug laws and federal gun laws for the "worst of the worst" to allow for pretrial detention and stiffer sentences. (4) Aggressively employ a multi-agency law enforcement approach to investigate, arrest and aid prosecution of violent repeat offenders and gangs.[12]

According to published reports, Hogsett's Violent Crime Initiative has produced "dramatic" results, including a significant increase in the number of prosecutions filed by his office against individuals illegally possessing guns. In 2010—prior to Hogsett's tenure—there were just 14 illegally armed felons charged by the U.S. Attorney's Office. In 2011, that number jumped to more than 110 individuals, and in 2012, there were more than 160 firearms-related charges filed as part of the Violent Crime Initiative.[13]

Public Integrity Working Group[edit]

In April 2012, Hogsett announced the creation of a first-of-its-kind Public Integrity Working Group targeting public corruption and white collar crime in Indiana. The announcement claimed the Working Group was "historic, in terms of both the number of law enforcement agencies involved and as to the singular focus on such an important issue – the integrity of our public offices and officeholders."[14]

Hogsett's office set up a Public Corruption Hotline to assist the Working Group, which was reportedly modeled after efforts to combat corruption in northwestern Indiana. He has also responded to critics wary of partisan prosecutions by citing his recent prosecution of two Indianapolis city councilmen: one a Republican convicted of taking bribes to grease the wheels for a new strip club; the other a Democrat charged with swindling more than $1 million from an investor.[15]

Indictment against Imperial Petroleum[edit]

On September 19, 2013, Jeffrey T. Wilson,[16] Craig Ducey, Chad Ducey, Brian Carmichael, Joseph Furando, Evelyn Pattison, Caravan Trading LLC, Cima Green LLC, CIMA Energy Group and Imperial Petroleum were indicted in what Joe Hogsett referred to as "the largest instance of tax and securities fraud in state history" (in Indiana). Per the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, a tax subsidy was offered to the very first person or organization to mix pure biodiesel (B100) with petroleum diesel. The individuals are accused of fraudulently selling over 130 Megaliters of RIN-stripped B99 to clients who paid an artificially augmented dollar amount while believing that they were acquiring B100 with RINs and a tax subsidy.[17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25]


On July 14, 2014, Hogsett announced that he was resigning his position as United States Attorney, effective July 31, 2014.[26]

Indianapolis Mayor[edit]

Mayor Joe Hogsett Introduces Don Gummer, an artist who created 8 sculptures

On August 15, 2012, the Indianapolis Star published a piece entitled, "Is U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett eyeing a run at Indianapolis mayor?" The profile noted that Hogsett's visibility and successes as U.S. Attorney had fueled speculation of a return to politics in Indiana, citing both the 2015 mayoral election in Indianapolis and the 2016 U.S. Senate race as possibilities. Hogsett received especially strong praise from former U.S. Senator Evan Bayh, who described Hogsett as "a wonderful representative for the Democratic Party and the people of Indiana."[27]

In December 2012, the Indianapolis Business Journal named Hogsett a 2012 Newsmaker in a piece entitled, "Crime stance returns Hogsett to political spotlight."[28]

In July 2014, four years after his nomination as U.S. Attorney, Hogsett announced he would leave the office at the end of the month. The decision was widely interpreted to mean that Hogsett would consider a run against Republican Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. Media reports indicated that Hogsett's decision may have been motivated by the record-breaking violent crime spree affecting the city.[29][26]

In the days that followed his resignation announcement, a social media campaign was launched urging Hogsett to run for mayor in 2015.[30] In August 2014, he formed an exploratory committee.[31]

On November 5, Mayor Ballard announced that he would not run for re-election to a third term in office.[32] Seven days later, Hogsett announced his candidacy.[33] He handily defeated Republican nominee Chuck Brewer with 63 percent of the vote, giving the Democrats complete control of city government for only the second time since the formation of Unigov in 1970.[34]

Hogsett would go on to win reelection in 2019 for a 2nd term against republican challenger Jim Merritt.[1] In November 2022, Hogsett announced he would seek a 3rd and final term as mayor.[35]

Electoral history[edit]

Indiana Secretary of State, 1990
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joe Hogsett 775,163 51.83%
Republican William H. Hudnut III 719,314 48.10%
No party Write-Ins 971 0.06%
U.S. Senator from Indiana (Class 3), 1992
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Coats 1,267,972 57.3%
Democratic Joe Hogsett 900,148 40.8%
Libertarian Steve Dillon 35,733 1.6%
New Alliance Raymond Tirado 7,474 0.3%
No party Write-Ins 99 0.0%
U.S. Congress for Indiana's 2nd district, 1994
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David M. McIntosh 93,592 54.5%
Democratic Joe Hogsett 78,241 45.5%
Indiana Attorney General, 2004
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Steve Carter 1,389,640 58.18%
Democratic Joe Hogsett 953,500 39.92%
Libertarian Aaron Milewski 45,212 1.89%
Indianapolis mayoral election, 2015
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joe Hogsett 92,834 62.0%
Republican Chuck Brewer 56,662 37.9%
No party Write-Ins 221 0.1%
Indianapolis mayoral election, 2019[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joe Hogsett 108,319 71.5%
Republican Jim Merritt 40,637 26.8%
Libertarian Douglas John "Mac" McNaughton 2,337 1.5%
No party Write-Ins 197 0.1%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Marion County Election Results for November 5, 2019". The Indianapolis Star. November 5, 2019. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  2. ^ "Election Results". 3 March 2015. Archived from the original on 16 November 2018. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  3. ^ "List of All Offices and Office Holders". 5 March 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  4. ^ Howey, Brian A. (30 September 1999). "Hogsett bows out, 2nd CD field roils" (PDF). The Howey Political Report. 6 (7). Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  5. ^ "21 Feb 2003, Page 21 - The Indianapolis Star at". Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  6. ^ "O'Bannon recommends former secretary of state to lead state Democratic Party". 18 February 2003. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  7. ^ "22 Jun 2004, Page 2 - The Indianapolis Star at". Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  8. ^ "State Democrats name new chairman". 22 June 2004. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Our Campaigns - IN Attorney General Race - Nov 02, 2004". Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  10. ^ Evansville Courier & Press, October 9, 2011, Eric Bradner, "Hogsett brings more muscle to crimefighting".
  11. ^ Department of Justice, March 24, 2011, "HOGSETT ANNOUNCES JOINT INITIATIVE TO COMBAT VIOLENT CRIME" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-29. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  12. ^ Greensburg Daily News, April 21, 2011, Frank Denzler, "Hogsett speaks on crime initiatives".
  13. ^ Indianapolis Star, January 14, 2013, Star Report, "Indianapolis man sentenced to 15 years on gun charges as part of U.S. Attorney's Violent Crime Initiative".
  14. ^ Department of Justice, April 23, 2012, "HOGSETT ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF FEDERAL-STATE PUBLIC CORRUPTION WORKING GROUP" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  15. ^ New Albany News-Tribune, August 25, 2012, Maureen Hayden, "Evidence shows public corruption cases hard to pursue".
  16. ^ "Jeffrey Wilson". Forbes. 2012-04-18. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-19.
  17. ^ Report (2010-11-09). "Hoosier Companies Indicted in $100 Million Scheme - Newsroom - Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick". Retrieved 2013-09-19.
  18. ^ Cronin, Margaret (2013-09-16). "Imperial Petroleum Chief Charged With Fraud Over Biofuels". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
  19. ^ Orr, Susan. "Feds file fraud charges against president of Evansville-based Imperial Petroleum Inc. » Evansville Courier & Press". Retrieved 2013-09-20.
  20. ^ Gillam, Carey. "U.S. charges 6 people, 3 firms with $100 million biofuels fraud". Reuters. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
  21. ^ Cronin, Margaret. "Imperial Petroleum Official Charged With Fraud Over Biofuels (1)". Businessweek. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
  22. ^ "United States Securities And Exchange Commission V. Imperial Petroleum, Inc. Et Al :: Justia Dockets & Filings". Retrieved 2013-09-20.
  23. ^ "US indicts 7 individuals and 3 companies in alleged $100M biodiesel RINs fraud in Indiana". Green Car Congress. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
  24. ^ Dan Human. "Biofuel fraud case shines light on Imperial CEO | 2013-09-19 | Indianapolis Business Journal". Retrieved 2013-09-20.
  25. ^ "Imperial Petroleum, Inc., et al. (Release No. LR-22800; September 18, 2013)". Retrieved 2013-09-20.
  26. ^ a b "Bayh's campaign cash could help Hogsett run for mayor". IndyStar. July 15, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  27. ^ Indianapolis Star, August 15, 2012, Carrie Ritchie, "Is U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett eyeing a run for Indianapolis Mayor?".
  28. ^ Indianapolis Business Journal, December 28, 2012, IBJ Staff, "Crime stance returns Hogsett to political spotlight".
  29. ^ Indianapolis Star, July 14, 2014, Matthew Tully, "Tully: If Joe Hogsett runs as mayor, everything changes".
  30. ^ We Need Joe, July 20, 2014, "We Need Joe".
  31. ^ "Hogsett enters race for Indianapolis Mayor". August 14, 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  32. ^ "Swarens: Indy Mayor Greg Ballard says it's time to move on". The Indianapolis Star. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  33. ^ "Former U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett officially enters race for Indianapolis mayor". The Indianapolis Star. November 12, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  34. ^ "Hogsett cruises to victory with impressive win in Indy mayor's race". The Indianapolis Star. November 4, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  35. ^ "Hogsett announces plan to seek reelection as Indianapolis mayor". November 15, 2022. Retrieved 2022-11-17.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Secretary of State of Indiana
Succeeded by
Preceded by Mayor of Indianapolis
Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Secretary of State of Indiana
Succeeded by
Tim Jeffers
Preceded by Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Indiana
(Class 3)

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Peter Manous
Chair of the Indiana Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Kipper Tew
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Indiana Attorney General
Succeeded by
Lorenzo Arredondo
Legal offices
Preceded by United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana
Succeeded by