Democrat David James Elected Metro Council President For Third Time
David James will serve another year as Metro Council president, after being unanimously reelected by his peers Thursday evening.
The Democrat, who represents District 6, is also running for reelection this year. All the even-numbered Metro Council seats will be on the ballot in November.
So far, James has one challenger: Republican Kristi Smith. The filing deadline is Friday.
In a statement, James said the city's pension bill is set to increase $14 million and he considers finding a way to pay for that a priority, possibly through a restaurant tax. That echoes a suggestion by Mayor Greg Fischer that a tax on dining could help pay for city workers' pensions.
James, a former police officer, also said public safety would be a continued priority.
Earlier in the day, the Democratic and Republican caucuses chose their leaders for the year. Democrats selected Markus Winkler (D-17) as chair and Mark Fox (D-13) as vice chair. Both are in their first terms.
On the Republican side, Kevin Kramer (R-11) and Scott Reed (R16) will be chair and vice chair. Kramer served as Council president in 2006 and spent four years as chair of the Republican caucus.
The Council remains heavily Democratic this year, with seven of 26 seats belonging to the minority party.