Barton "Bart" R. Peterson is the former mayor of the U.S city of Indianapolis, Indiana. A Democrat first elected in 1999, he was defeated in 2007 in a bid for a third term in what was widely viewed as a huge upset.
A lifelong Indianapolis resident, Peterson graduated from North Central High School before attending Purdue University. After graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, he practiced law in Indianapolis for several years before joining the staff of Governor Evan Bayh, eventually serving as the Governor's Chief of Staff.
Peterson announced his candidacy for mayor of Indianapolis in 1999 and defeated the Republican candidate, Indiana Secretary of State Sue Anne Gilroy, 52 percent to 41 percent. When Peterson took office in 2000, he became Indianapolis's first Democratic mayor since 1967. Among his accomplishments during his first term were the establishment of charter schools in the city and development of several arts and culture initiatives.
Peterson was re-elected in 2003 with 63 percent of the vote, handily defeating Republican Marion County Treasurer Greg Jordan. During his second term, he led the efforts to consolidate city and county government, merging the Indianapolis Police Department with the Marion County Sheriff's Department to form the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department under the leadership of Marion County Sheriff Frank J. Anderson, and merging several township fire departments with the Indianapolis Fire Department. He also oversaw plans to construct a new home for the Indianapolis Colts while also expanding the Indiana Convention Center. Peterson is also credited for attracting additional downtown development including the construction of a downtown Simon Property Group headquarters and Conrad Hotel tower.