Jon Aguilera formerly announced his candidacy today at East Chicago's city hall.
Aguilera became the first challenger for incumbent Mayor George Pabey.
Pabey was indicted in February on charges of allegedly having city workers renovate his vacation house in Gary.
Aguilera said he will end government corruption and bring an elected school board to East Chicago.
"I will give this community back its school system - I don't need to be the administrator of this city," said Aguilera. "I have a vision that will take us into the future, and I will do everything I can to make sure that this city gets the school system in the hands of the people."
Aguilera said he wanted to run for mayor in 2006, but he decided not to run because he wanted to address a medical condition.
The Democratic mayoral primary in East Chicago will be held next year.