Henry opts to seek third term as mayor

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry will seek a third term, according to a tweet from the Allen County Democratic Party.

Late Sunday night the party tweeted a link to a ‘Special Campaign Announcement.’

The party indicated Henry will announce his re-election plans Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. at Bergstaff Place, 2020 East Washington Boulevard.

Henry told NewsChannel 15 last month he had not yet decided on whether to run for another four years. He indicated he was involving his family in the decision and specifically mentioned his wife.

“A lot of it depends truly on what my wife has to say,” Henry told NewsChannel 15’s Mark Mellinger in an interview taped for the end of the year.

“You know, spouses of politicians give up a lot. I have very little time with my spouse of almost 40 years.”

The 63-year-old Henry has been in public service since the early 1980’s.

“I don’t see my grandchildren much, so there’s a lot of sacrifice that the family makes. I’ve asked them to give up their time with me for 28 years. Do I want to ask them for another four?” Henry said.

Before being elected mayor, Henry served on city council from 1984-2004 representing the 3rd District. He first considered running for mayor in 1999 but decided against a campaign. Democrat Graham Richard went on to become mayor for two terms before Henry eventually succeeded him in 2008.

If re-elected, Henry would be the first Democratic Mayor to serve more than two terms since Charles Zollinger (1873-1885) who served six terms. Henry has indicated previously a third term would likely be his last.

City Councilman Mitch Harper (R-4th) announced in early December to supporters he would run for mayor. Republicans have not held the mayor’s seat since Paul Helmke left office in 2000.

Municipal Election candidates cannot formally declare for office until Wednesday. It’s unknown if anyone will challenge Henry in the Democratic Primary, but Wayne Township Trustee Rich Stevenson has been rumored to be considering a run.

No other GOP candidates have made any indications.


Republican Jason Arp announced he will run for the soon-to-be open 4th District city council seat. The spot is currently occupied by Republican Mitch Harper. Arp is the executive director of the Indiana Conservatives PAC and was most recently the campaign manager for State Representative for Christopher Judy who was elected in Nov. 2014 to serve Indiana’s 83rd House District.

Republican Teresa Sutton will announce this week her intentions to seek a city council at-large seat. Currently, city council includes three at-large seats. Republicans Marty Bender and John Crawford and Democrat John Shoaff occupy the seats. Sutton owns Custom Art Screen Printing in Fort Wayne and is the chair of the Allen County Republican Women Informed and Involved. Bender, Crawford, and Shoaff have not made announcements about re-election campaigns.

Councilmembers Tom Smith (R-1st), Russ Jehl (R-2nd), Tom Didier (R-3rd), Geoff Paddock (D-5th), and Glynn Hines (D-6th) have not made statements on whether they will run for re-election.



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