Indianapolis rallies behind city’s blind ‘broom guy’

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — For more than 60 years, the “Broom Guy,” Jim Richter, has been a staple of Indianapolis streets.

The 78-year-old blind Indianapolis man says he was recently told to leave the Nora post office and could no longer sell his brooms there, or any other postal branch in the city.

“They didn’t really give me a reason,” Richter said. “They just said they had one complaint, and I guess they play by the one strike and you’re out rule. But, when I tried to figure out who the complaint came from and address it from that issue, they just told me, ‘We don’t have to tell you anything, you just get off of our property.’”

Indy's iconic "Broom Guy" has been a staple of city streets for 60 years. (WISH Photo)
Indy’s iconic “Broom Guy” has been a staple of city streets for 60 years. (WISH Photo)

People from across central Indiana have since come out in support of the city’s iconic “Broom Guy” — even Gov. Mike Pence.

“I think people all across Indiana have been moved by Jim’s example,” Pence said.

The governor and First Lady Karen Pence stopped to visit Richter on Tuesday morning.

“This is a great, hardworking Hoosier who’s been out here providing a great product,” Pence added. “We are going to buy a broom or two off of you this morning. But, Jim, I also want to let you know that I’m reaching out to the post master general and we’re going to see if we can find some accommodation to get you back to that Nora branch.”

In addition to selling at post offices, over the years Richter has also set up shop outside supportive Indy businesses.

Media General contributors caught up with him Tuesday at the BP gas station at 71st Street and College Avenue. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s