Indianapolis City-City County Stephen Clay wants to be Council President, and even though Maggie Lewis has that job, Clay is working to take it from her.
After numerous background discussions with both Republicans and Democrats over at the City-County building, we’ve been able to piece together what exactly is going on.
Clay has consistently coveted Lewis’ job, there have been several failed attempts in the past but he could not muster enough support among his fellow Democrats. Now, sources tell us, he is trying to garner Republican support to do it.
There is a precedent for this. Back in 2005, then Councilor Steve Talley got the Republican minority to vote for him and ousted then-President Rosell Boyd.
Indy Politics is told Clay has repeatedly attempted to undermine Lewis’ leadership, even going so far as to challenge her appointments to Boards and Commissions.
Clay’s supporters in the past have included Monroe Gray, Duke Oliver, Joe Simpson and LaKeisha Jackson. He would only need the votes of eight Republicans to become President.
Republicans tell Indy Politics that he has not formally reached out to anyone in their caucus, yet. If Clay became President he would make committee assignments and he reportedly wants to remove Leroy Robinson as the chairman of Public Safety and Vop Osili as the head of Metropolitan and Economic Development.
It is unlikely Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, a fellow Democrat, would get in the middle of this fight, as the Mayor has adopted a “hands-off” approach to internal caucus matters since taking office.
The Council will elect its leadership in January.