EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Caine Alexander Helmer has filed papers to run for Evansville mayor. Helmer plans to run as a Republican.

Helmer says his three main platforms encompass mental health, affordable housing and education, with his secondary issues including improvements to the welfare system in the city and a desire to attempt to lower the cost of living in Evansville.

This is Helmer’s first time running for political office. Vanderburgh County Republican Party Chairman Mike Duckworth says he does not know Helmer, but Duckworth plans to reach out to him because it does not appear Helmer has voted in any recent Republican primaries, which could allow Duckworth to keep Helmer’s name off the ballot if he desires.

Helmer works for an area retail store. He says he studied to become a nurse, but he was met with obstacles that shaped his platform for mayor.

Eyewitness News emailed Helmer about issues on his platform, and he provided the following responses:

  • Mental Health
    • “Mental health care in this city is an utter failure, you’d be better off throwing your money down a well or going on a vacation; due to me being born with manic bipolar my mother had me go to a child psychiatrist as a kid… I remember a time during our counselling sessions where the staff member would just let me do the talking as I was helping the other kids more than she was when we first started, imagine that, a patient more help to other patients then the staff purely because I knew what they were going through… It wasn’t until I was an adult that I found the right medication and was able to deal with the trauma I endured to reach post traumatic growth; but I still watched as friends, family and people I knew fell to addiction, mental instability, and suicide all because our mental health care system is a joke.”
  • Affordable Housing Crisis
    • “The affordable housing crisis is hitting people in Evansville hard as I’ve talked with people buying properties to turn them into expensive overnight AirBnB’s; I’ve seen rent and home prices jump up because no new housing is being built, more and more people need a place to stay and but the supply isn’t growing… I want to do everything I can to jumpstart the construction of low to medium income housing both for purchase and to rent even if I have to talk with the federal government about lowering tariffs on Canadian lumber imports and other construction materials.”
  • Education
    • “I want to get in talks with the state about improving Ivy Tech so it’s not such a hassle to get an education; I want at cost dorm rooms, more options for part time classes and low cost (if not free) bus passes for students so even the lowest income earner can still get an education. I also want to start offering basic law classes at high schools to help jumpstart employment in our police departments and to give the average citizen some understanding of the laws where they live… I’d like to include leadership courses in those classes as well to help train the leaders of tomorrow.”

Helmer joins fellow Republicans Cheryl Musgrave and Natalie Rascher as the only candidates to have filed for the office. No Democrats have officially thrown their hat into the ring. The deadline to file is February 3.