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Longtime Independent New Albany council member announces run as Republican

New Albany City Council member Scott Blair has announced he'll be running as a Republican for a fourth term, after serving nearly three terms as an Independent.
Scott Blair
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New Albany City Council member Scott Blair has announced he'll be running as a Republican for a fourth term, after serving nearly three terms as an Independent.

New Albany City Council member Scott Blair has announced he’s running as a Republican in the general election in November, after serving nearly three terms as an Independent.

Scott Blair, who was first elected to the New Albany City Council in 2011, said he’s switching parties because he believes in Republicans’ vision and feels the strong team running this year is what the city needs to move forward.

He said he also wants to be able to better support others in the party, including Indiana Rep. Ed Clere, who’s challenging Democratic incumbent Jeff Gahan for the mayor’s race. Gahan is seeking a fourth term.

“I am excited to align with the Republican team, whose dedication to good governance and informed decision-making resonates with my vision for New Albany’s future,” Blair said in a news release. “We are at a pivotal point in our city’s development, and it is crucial that we prioritize sound decision-making and responsible fiscal spending. By actively involving the public and business owners in the decision-making process, we can collectively shape a bright future for our community.”

He said his goals include addressing infrastructure improvements, like neglected sidewalks and streets. He also wants to see the city partner with surrounding communities on regional improvements and initiatives, including Origin Park.

Blair, who considers himself conservative, also said the party switch won’t affect how he approaches council decisions.

“I'm still going to do my research and my due diligence and ask a lot of questions and make sure I understand the situation or the subject matter before I vote,” he said.

Blair was nominated by Floyd County Republican Party Chair Heather Peters to fill the vacancy on the ballot for District 6. As an Independent, he wasn’t eligible to run in the primary election in May.

“Our party is continuing to grow as we head into a crucial election season for New Albany,” Peters said in the release, adding that bringing Blair to the party “is a testament to the strides we’ve made to build momentum towards November.”

Blair will face Democratic candidate Jo Krause-Graves for the District 6 seat. Election Day is Nov. 7.

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec Inc. and the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation.

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.