Jim Wright seeks Greencastle mayor in GOP primary

Sunday, April 19, 2015
Jim Wright

Jim Wright, former longtime city street commissioner and a previous mayoral hopeful in 1983, is a candidate for mayor on the Republican primary ballot.

Wright, 72, 902 S. Illinois St., said he decided to run "to help my community and Putnam County."

Among the issues he sees are "treating everyone the same, everyone fairly in the City of Greencastle," as well as assuring that all city departments work together to share manpower and equipment whenever possible for the good of the community.

"I feel we do need two more police officers in the city," he said. "I don't know where the money is going to come from but we definitely need two more officers, and I don't mean to just replace the ones that are retiring."

Probably best known for 20 years as Greencastle street commissioner after being appointed by Mayor Jane Harlan in 1980, Wright also worked for the State Highway Department (now INDOT) for 10 years and retired last July after nearly eight years at the Walmart store. He also has been a carpenter and painter for the Opportunity Housing organization.

"I've done a little bit of everything," Wright said.

Never one to shy away from work in his prior role with the city, Wright says he kept a ledger totaling the overtime hours he put in (unpaid as a department head). "I logged over 6,000 overtime hours," he said, adding that his department never operated in the red during his tenure.

One of the founders of the original Humane Society shelter east of Greencastle, Wright most recently has been involved in issues right in his own neighborhood.

He has been active in organizing a Neighborhood Watch program for the Fourth Ward and has pledged the first $100 toward a playground for the proposed Micaela Julletta Cancilla Park, literally located across the street from his house in the city's South End.

Wright, who has been married to the former Aggie Carmichael for the past nine years, is a three-year trustee at the Moose Lodge.

A 47-year resident of Putnam County, he was born in the mountainous eastern part of Kentucky but left there when he was 12 to live with his father in Indianapolis, where he graduated from Washington High School in 1961.

Running for mayor in 1983, Wright lost the GOP primary to Gerald E. Warren, who went on to defeat Democrat Ben Cannon for mayor.