This post was written for The Local by reader and Community Advocate Kody Tinnel.
Early voting for the primary begins today through Election Day on May 2.
To help you prepare, here's a quick look at the races for Fort Wayne City Council.
- Council is comprised of three at-large members who each represent the entire city population and six district representatives for approximately 45,000 residents in each of the six specific geographic areas. (A map of the districts can be found here.)
- All nine City Council seats are up for reelection this year.
- Council serves as the legislative branch of local government and plays a key role in how the $200+ million annual city budget is spent, which company picks up our garbage, and how different parcels of land can be used, among other responsibilities.
A few highlights about where the races stand:
At-Large: Republicans have their three candidates who will all move forward to the general election:
- Tom Freistroffer (incumbent)
- Marty Bender (previously served multiple terms on City Council)
- Luke Fries (son of Ken Fries - former Sheriff and current County Council member)
Democrats have four candidates running for three spots in the May 2 primary:
- Michelle Chambers (incumbent)
- Stephanie Crandall (works for Mayor Henry)
- Audrey Davis
- Sean Johnson
District 1: Incumbent Paul Ensley is uncontested in both the primary and general election. Democrats can fill their ballot vacancy by July 3 if they can find a candidate.
District 2: The general election will be Republican Russ Jehl (incumbent) versus Democrat Melissa Rinehart.
District 3: A competitive Republican primary between Nathan Hartman and Mike Thomas.
Democrats can fill their vacancy by July 3 if they can find a candidate.
District 4: Competitive primaries on both sides.
- Democrats are Patti Hays and Bob Behr.
- Republicans are Scott Myers and Joseph Townsend.
District 5: Incumbent Geoff Paddock is uncontested in the primary. Republicans can fill their ballot vacancy by July 3 if they can find a candidate.
District 6: Incumbent Sharon Tucker is uncontested in the primary. Republicans can fill their ballot vacancy by July 3 if they can find a candidate.
Overall, key races to watch are:
- At Large
- District 2
- District 4
For more information, follow The Journal Gazette's free election previews for each of these races.