Lewis Wheeler

City of Frankfort

After a contentious race centered around what Frankfort voters think about the city’s spending priorities, incumbent Mayor Chris McBarnes appears on his way to a third term in office.

McBarnes collected 1,358 votes Tuesday, easily eclipsing the 502 votes of his challenger, Third District City Councilor Lewis Wheeler.

There was no Democratic primary in Frankfort, though candidates do still have a couple ways to be slated on the November general election ballot before July 1, so McBarnes isn’t assured of another four years in office until then.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

It was a packed house at the Frankfort Middle School cafetorium – a lunch room with an arched stage off to one side. Supporters of incumbent Mayor Chris McBarnes, many clad in neon green tee shirts advocating their candidate sat on one side. Across a physical  -- if not ideological – aisle were backers of Third District City Councilman Lewis Wheeler, many dressed in red. 

City of Frankfort

One of the main reasons Frankfort city councilman Lewis Wheeler is running against incumbent Chris McBarnes in this year’s Republican mayoral primary is a difference of opinion in how the city spends its money on the way toward possible economic development.

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we quiz Mayor McBarnes about why he’s hired a new Community Development Director, and how her job might be different than what the Chamber of Commerce has already been doing.

courtesy City of Frankfort

Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes, who’d previously been vehement about his desire not to serve more than two terms in office, now says he’ll stand for re-election next year.

McBarnes was one of Indiana’s youngest mayors when he was first elected in 2011, shortly after he graduated college. For almost the entirety of his seven years in office, he’s said two terms was his limit.

But McBarnes held an official campaign kickoff Thursday night, and says as he looked at future career options, he felt out of place leaving government.