JEROME A. PRINCE, Mayor
City of Gary
Jerome A. Prince (born August 16, 1964) is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and an American politician who currently serves as the Mayor for the City of Gary, Indiana. Prior to becoming mayor, he served as the Assessor for Lake County, Indiana. He holds the distinction of being the first African American County Assessor in the state . He is a member of the Democratic Party. In addition to his service, Prince enjoys bike-riding and hiking.
Jerome Prince grew up in Gary, Indiana. He is a graduate of Gary Lew Wallace High School. In 1982, Prince enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. In 1983, eight months after graduating high school, he married De Anna Slaughter, with whom he shares four sons and ten grandchildren. In 1986, at the completion of his tour of duty, he decided not to reenlist, but instead return to his hometown of Gary. Prince immediately discovered it was incumbent of him to create opportunities to support his family financially and contribute to his community.
After returning home from the Marine Corps, his mother, who was a Mary Kay Cosmetics Sales Director, suggested he consider and explore the possibilities of becoming a sales professional. Prince worked in various sales capacities, most notably insurance, real estate, and retail sales.
Prince launched his career in government as a real estate deputy in the Calumet Township Assessor’s office in 1994. In 1998, he was elected as a member of the Gary Precinct Committee Organization. In 1999, Prince was elected to the office of Fifth District Gary City Councilman, unseating Cleo Wesson, the longest serving councilman in the City of Gary. Prince was re-elected to a second term in 2003 and a third in 2007 serving as President of the body from 2006 until 2007. In 2008, one month into a new term, Prince was unanimously selected by the precinct committee persons of Lake County’s Third District to serve the unexpired term of Councilman Will Smith Jr., who left office prematurely.
Prince served on the Lake County Council until 2014 and in his last year on the council, he served as president. During his tenure as councilman, he reshaped the budget process, and championed the Lake County Option Income Tax, a move that would bring Lake County in line with the 91 other counties in Indiana and ensure the solvency of the Lake County Government. In November of 2014, Prince was elected as the Assessor of Lake County, Indiana where he was responsible for overseeing approximately 242,000 parcels in the county. In this capacity, he strengthened public awareness of property assessments in the county.
In 2019, Jerome A. Prince was elected mayor for the City of Gary, an office that he is currently serving.
Prince is a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Association of Counties, African American Mayors Association, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Council of Negro Women, A. Phillip Randolph Institute, International Association of Assessing Officers, Indiana Assessor’s Association, Lake County’s Property Tax Board of Appeals and Gary Democratic Precinct Organization, where he served as Chairman.