Mayor-elect James Mueller talks future of South Bend
SOUTH BEND, Ind.—Mayor-elect James Mueller was live in ABC57’s studio on Wednesday morning post-election to discuss the future of South Bend.
“It’s been a long 10 months. Our team knocked on roughly 50,000 doors to make this happen so I’m proud of all of the effort and was glad to be rewarded with a decisive win,” Mueller said.
Current Mayor Pete Buttigieg endorsed the mayor-elect, and Mueller wants to continue the progress he said he’s seen.
“If you go back to eight years ago, Pete promised a fresh start and he delivered a fresh start and because of that we’ve turned a corner after many decades of decline. The population is growing and incomes are starting to catch up to state and national averages,” Mueller said. “Those are the kind of things we want to keep going but we know that there’s still a lot of work to be done to make sure that this economy is working for everyone.”
Mueller took in 63% of the vote on Tuesday night. His opponent, Republican candidate Sean Haas, took the remainder.
“We can have differences in opinion on policy; we can have differences in opinion on priority. But we can’t have differences in opinion on facts and reality. We know climate change is real and we must address it, we know systemic racism is real and we must address it,” Mueller said. “We need to take an accurate and factual account of where we are and figure out how we can move forward together.”
Two key issues Mueller faces with his new role include tackling problems within the South Bend Police Department and the city’s education system.
“It’s only been a few hours since the polls closed, but we’ll try to get ahold of them as soon as possible. That’s a top priority; both reforming public safety and strengthening education from cradle to career,” Mueller said.