Recent Indiana history is littered with instances when party officials have worked behind the scenes to discourage women and minority candidates from seeking the highest offices to make way for white men deemed more connected, electable or better funded.
Republican party leaders picked Eric Holcomb, who had been appointed to replace Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann months earlier, to run for governor in 2016, over Congresswoman Susan Brooks, who also had been U.S. Attorney and an Indianapolis deputy mayor.
Unigov takes power from Black voters
The creation of Unigov in 1970 set back the voting power of Indianapolis African Americans for 40 years, preventing generations of African American political hopefuls from obtaining office.
While former Republican Mayor Richard Lugar largely has been lauded for creating efficiencies by combining the largely white unincorporated Marion County into the more diverse city of Indianapolis, it came with that not-so-hidden cost.
Williams, 71, who was a deputy mayor under Republican Greg Ballard from 2008-15, said Indianapolis may well have elected a Black mayor decades ago had it not been for Unigov.