Kevin Rider Talks Candidacy for Carmel Mayor

Writer / Alli Donovan
Photographer / Sarah Browning

Kevin RiderA big change is coming to Carmel.

Mayor Jim Brainard is stepping down and not seeking re-election for 2024. This is the end of an era for Carmel as he has been in the mayoral seat for the last 28 years. He announced this decision in September of 2022.

The next question is, who will be the new mayor of Carmel? Mayor Brainard is leaving some large shoes to fill, as Carmel is considered one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.

One of the candidates seeking election for the mayoral position is Kevin Woody” Rider.

Rider has been in the Indianapolis area all his life. Born and raised in Indy, Rider moved to the city of Carmel in 1983 and has resided here ever since. He is a local businessman in Carmel, owning two restaurants, Woodys Library Restaurant and divvy, with his wife, Richelle.

In addition to owning two successful businesses in Carmel, Rider has been highly involved in community efforts. Rider has served on the Carmel City Council for 16 years. Of those 16 years, 12 were also dedicated to serving on the Carmel Plan Commission. He also spent one year on the Carmel Redevelopment Commission.

Riders dream to run for mayor started when he was a kid. He worked on Richard Lugar’s campaign (mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1975), passing out signs to the public. He always loved politics. As a high schooler, he was highly involved and enthusiastic about various debates.

Rider’s desire to become mayor for the City of Carmel comes down to one reason – he loves serving the community.

Rider has hit the ground running for the campaign, going door to door, speaking with Carmel residents and keeping the community informed.

A huge goal of mine is to keep Carmel going in the positive direction that its already in,” Rider says. Another pillar for Riders campaign focuses on communication. It is critical to engage in meaningful conversations and create actionable outcomes. This is the key to success, and a huge opportunity to build trust between residents, elected officials and key community leaders.

Rider’s strongest supporter is Carmel City Council President Jeff Worrell. Worrell serves as the unofficial chair of the campaign and has helped develop Rider’s platform and issues. He is working to help bring Rider’s message to the community and is committed to working with Rider as a partner on the city council after the election.

Everybody knew that one day Jim Brainard would not be our mayor anymore,” Worrell says.This will be a transition. What I can do to best support Kevin is to be there to support him in this transition.”

Kevin RiderThe campaign is ramping up over the next several weeks. What the community doesnt know is that Riders team has been working on this campaign for three years, and they are ready to serve. For the next two months they know it is vital to continue to meet and talk with the community, and get their message out to the public.

The City of Carmel has given me the life that I have,” Rider says, when asked what he loves about Carmel. “Everything that Ive had in my adult life has come from living in Carmel. Its a dynamic place to live. This is where I chose to spend my life, build my family and grow my businesses.

For me, Carmel is about the people,” Worrell adds. “The people of Carmel are special. Theyre kind, generous and giving. Carmel is a place that the people who live there can be very proud of.”

May 2 is the 2023 primary election. Early voting information can be found at—In-Person. A public debate amongst mayoral candidates was held March 28 at the Palladium in Carmel to hear more information from each candidate.

Kevin Rider, Worrell and the rest of the Rider for Carmel team are ready to answer the communitys questions. For more information on Rider, visit the campaign website, On the website, you can reach out to Rider to discuss any ideas or issues directly.

The Rider for Carmel campaign headquarters is now open at 452 East Carmel Drive. The community can also follow the campaign on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Comments 1

  1. Congratulations to Woody for running on a positive campaign!

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