Southern Indiana

A New Albany City Council member has announced a bid for mayor in 2023.

Republican council member Josh Turner said he’s running for mayor next year to bring more transparency and accountability to New Albany City Hall.

“I think I’ve shown that I’m a people-first leader,” Turner told WFPL on Wednesday. “I’m fiscally responsible. My experience in the military helped me learn what leadership is. Leadership isn’t management. I want to lead the city and make sure it operates like it should.”

Turner is in his first term representing the city’s fifth district on the council.

Because his term coincides with the mayor’s, Turner will not seek reelection to the council. 

If elected as mayor, Turner said he’d regularly hold meetings with local media and small businesses. He said he’d also seek new partnerships with other local groups and governing bodies in the area.

“It’s critical for us to start thinking in partnerships regionally to create growth,” Turner said. “If we work together, we can all kind of raise up and elevate everybody.”

Incumbent Democratic Mayor Jeff Gahan is in his third term and hasn’t announced if he’ll run again in 2023. With the primary nearly a year away, no one else has entered the race.

New Albany hasn’t had a Republican mayor in nearly 20 years, and Democrats have controlled the post for all but one term since 1992. Gahan beat his Republican challenger by 14 points in 2019.

“What separates me from any candidates in the past is my connection to the people,” Turner said. “I do have the monthly meetups, I have the monthly newsletter… There’s not a door that I will not try to knock on when it’s campaign time.”

Republicans hold three seats on the nine-member council, which has seen heavy turnover in recent years. Two Democratic council members have died within the last 13 months, and Republican at-large member Al Knable could vacate his seat if he wins the race for Floyd County Commissioner in November.

John Boyle is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. John’s coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by the Caesars Foundation of Floyd County, Community Foundation of Southern Indiana and Samtec, Inc.

John Boyle is a reporter and editor at WFPL news focused on Southern Indiana. He is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.