ELKHART — State Rep. Tim Neese said he’s contemplating running for mayor of Elkhart.
Neese announced Tuesday, Aug. 6, in a statement to the media that he has filed paperwork with the Elkhart County Clerk’s office establishing an exploratory committee to evaluate running for mayor of Elkhart in the May 2015 Republican primary race.
In doing so, Neese also announced he would not seek another term as representative of District 48 in the state legislature.
Neese said he will continue to serve as a state legislator until the current term ends in January of 2015.
Neese is the first person to officially declare an interest in running for mayor.
Mayor Dick Moore, a Democrat, has not announced whether he will seek a third term, but has suggested that he’s leaning toward running.
Neese issued a statement late Tuesday afternoon.
“I have the passion and energy as well as the administrative skills necessary to make Elkhart safer and more competitive. I am eager to learn from Elkhart citizens, regardless of party affiliation, how city government can serve more efficiently and effectively. I will always support compliance with the open door law,” said Neese.
Neese’s had been rumored to be interested in running for mayor in recent months even as Moore appointed him to the compact sewer task force, which he later quit over concerns of possible violations of Indiana’s Open Door Law.
The state’s public access counselor’s office did not find any violation of the open door law involving the task force, but some Republicans complained about the lack of transparency.
Prior to being appointed to the task force, Neese criticized Moore for the handling of the on-going sewer dispute.
Neese is a graduate of Ball State University and is the director of the Solid Waste Management District of Elkhart County.
Prior to being elected to the Indiana House, he was a four-term member of the Elkhart City Council.
In 2012, Neese defeated Jerry Brewton and Randall Ty Weinley in the May 8 primary and defeated Democrat Dan Morrison in the general election.
Along with several committee assignments, Neese serves as chairman of the Indiana House Local Government Committee, working with local elected officials throughout the state, according to a statement released by Neese.