The Times photo by Betsy Reason
These are just a few of the campaign postcards and flyers from Noblesville candidates vying for mayor and city council seats in the 2019 Primary election on Election Day Tuesday.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason These are just a few of the campaign postcards and flyers from Noblesville candidates vying for mayor and city council seats in the 2019 Primary election on Election Day Tuesday.

The Noblesville mayor’s race is getting interesting.

Take, for instance, mayoral candidate Mike Corbett, who’s running for the third time. His signs are up in a lot of yards in Old Town Noblesville, where he lives. But has anyone seen the recently added Boss Hogg picture with “Let’s End Boss Hogg Politics” on top of the “Vote Corbett for Mayor” sign along Indiana 37?

An American flag flies above both.

A fan of Boss Hogg — the greedy, unethical commissioner of Hazzard County in “The Dukes of Hazzard” television show that aired on CBS in the late ‘70s to mid-’80s — the sign made me smile when I saw it.

What else makes me smile?

Hearing my daughter holler for my attention every time she turns on the TV, asking “Why is Chris Jensen on my YouTube craft show?”

Yes, we’ve been bombarded by Jensen for Mayor ads on YouTube, as well as campaign advertisements that come in the form of large postcards or folded flyers nearly every day in the mail, sometimes two pieces in the mail the same day. In the past couple of weeks, we’ve received 10 different Jensen ads. Plus, a flyer was stuffed in my front door.

When I mentioned the bombardment of campaign advertising to Jensen, current City Council member, during his daily visit to downtown’s Noble Coffee & Tea, he smiled and apologized. But I’m not sure why he expressed regret, being that the career politician is trying to spend down the thousands of dollars in his war chest, the largest of the four Noblesville mayoral candidates.

While his coffers have campaign contributions from many Noblesville voters, Jensen has accepted many more dollars from political action committee groups, and corporations, developers, consulting firms and other companies doing business with the City of Noblesville, including Rebar Companies, developer of the controversial downtown Levinson project, which Jensen voted for and which breaks ground soon in the Maple Avenue block between Eighth and Ninth streets. (By the way, that metered parking lot at Maple and Eighth closes today for construction, with permit parking moving to other metered lots downtown.)

Two of the four mayoral candidates -- attorney and former Noblesville School board president Julia Church Kozicki and Hamilton County Business Magazine owner and historic preservationist Mike Corbett — have accepted campaign contributions from mainly Noblesville voters, no companies doing business with the City of Noblesville.

The fourth candidate City forester Vince Baker only has reported campaign contributions from his parents and himself.

These four candidates, all Republicans, are vying for the seat being vacated by current Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear, who isn’t seeking re-election after four terms as the city’s leader. 

The campaign contributors aren’t secret.

Anyone with access to the Internet can view each candidate’s Campaign Finance Reports, which list contributor by name, address, dollars contributed and date contributed. The Campaign Finance Reports tally contributions by individuals, corporations, other organizations and political action committees. The Campaign Finance Reports also keep tally of all itemized expenditures. Voters can find this information and do their own homework online at www.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/219/Election-Office, then click on “Campaign Finance Reports,” and you’ll find the files alphabetically by last name.

Jensen, Corbett and Church Kozicki have all been fairly accessible, scheduling various meet-and-greets and table talks for voters.

Baker on his Facebook page said he hasn’t attended all of the mayoral candidate meetings due to his day job. But there are rumblings that Baker is only running for mayor to muddy the water for the other candidates. Baker didn’t have any political rallies or try to raise campaign contributions (His main contribution of $3,000 was reported on the Campaign Finance Reports from his parents, who are also Old Town residents). The rumblings are that Baker is just hanging around, enough to keep his name on the ballot. And he’s knocked on enough Old Town Noblesville doors to pull just enough votes away from Corbett, also an Old Town resident.

Think strategy. Baker is not a blip on the radar to Jensen, nor has he caused a ripple in the pond. But he’s making mud in the water for the other candidates.

Don’t let this mayoral race become a popularity contest, of who has the biggest war chest or who has the most or greatest campaign signs.

Election Day is a day away.

All I can say is do your homework.

Vote for who you think is best for Noblesville.

Make your vote count.

Early voting continues from 8 a.m. to noon today at the Hamilton County Government & Judicial Center in Noblesville. Registered voters can vote at their assigned polling place from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Election Day on Tuesday.

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com. Read former Noblesville mayor Mary Sue Rowland’s guest column in today’s edition of The Times and other Letters to the Editor, candidate wrap-up columns and more at thetimes24-7.com.