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(Photo: McNaughton For Mayor)

The race for mayor of Indianapolis is down to its final days, and while polling shows incumbent Democrat mayor Joe Hogsett and Republican challenger Jim Merritt are garnering the majority of voters’ support, Libertarian candidate Doug McNaughton isn’t giving up the fight. 

McNaughton, a 55-year-old automation engineer who was born and raised in the Hoosier state, dropped by the WIBC studios Monday morning to make his case with voters in a visit with Tony Katz. 

McNaughton told Katz that running for Indy mayor as a Libertarian with limited funding presents some unique challenges.

“We really have to work at the grassroots level due to the economies of scale that we’re dealing with,” explained McNaughton. “We don’t have the dollars for major TV ads, and so we have to rely on word of mouth and a lot of social media.”

As a Libertarian, McNaughton is an advocate for reducing the size of government, including taking a more strategic and calculated approach to infrastructure projects. Case in point: the Red Line.

“I propose we put a brake on all the other lines until we get the $100 million dollar Red Line fixed and working,” explained McNaughton, “and it’s actually working.” 

He continued: “The last forum, I raised the issue that the city is not going to be able to meet their goals for ridership because there aren’t enough places for commuters to park their vehicles and ride. There’s no ‘Park and Go’ like they have in Chicago. And lo and behold, they have now extended the Red Line to include areas that have parking lots on some routes. So if I’m not being voted for, I’m certainly being listened to.”

McNaughton believes that mass transit is a necessary component of the city’s long-term growth strategy, but it needs to be business-oriented.

“Indianapolis is unique in its structure in that we’re not a north and south, or along the river, or along an ocean city, [but rather] we’re very spread out,” said McNaughton. “And that’s why things like Red Line, light rail, and point-to-point mass transit doesn’t work for this city. It’s not the way this city is laid out.”

McNaughton’s Republican rival, Jim Merritt, came under fire for his decision to make the city’s pothole problem a focus of his campaign. McNaughton, however, argues that this crucial aspect of public infrastructure is fair game for discussion in an election season.

“I’ve been discussing potholes for two years,” said McNaughton. “I’ve actually volunteered to work for a private organization that fixes potholes that the city doesn’t have the time or money to get to called ‘Open Source Roads.’”

That initiative ultimately led to a change in policy from the city regarding the permitting process for private organizations that want to fix their own potholes.

McNaughton told Katz that Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett hasn’t done enough to address the city’s pothole problem.

“There’s been this election blast to get everything fixed so it’s not an issue in November, but the city had to endure three years of neglect,” said McNaughton. 

Transitioning to the issue of violent crime in the city of Indianapolis, McNaughton asserted that hiring more police officers isn’t the answer.

“Police do not prevent crime; police catch criminals,” said McNaughton. “You have to address crime directly,” he continued, “and a lot of the city’s crime is youth violence and black market crime such as the sale and distribution of illegal drugs.”

McNaughton agreed with Tony Katz that the crime rate in the city is primarily a cultural issue.

Indianapolis voters cast their ballots for Mayor on November 5.

Click the link below to hear Tony’s full interview with Doug McNaughton.