Fort Wayne, Ind. (WANE) Fort Wayne’s mayoral candidates are preparing for their only debate before the November 3rd election. Republican Mitch Harper is challenging two-term incumbent, Mayor Tom Henry. Both said they are ready to face off in tomorrows debate and are confident that they will perform well.
Monday the candidates answer questions from three categories: community and downtown development, safety in Fort Wayne, and the future of the city. Over the past few weeks both candidates have held practice sessions to prepare for the debate.
Harper considers himself an experienced debater and said he will draw on his experiences from the 12 years he spent in the Indiana House to carry him through the debate. Harper said he’s got a few items at the top of his agenda.
“I think the messages that we’ve talked about in this campaign in terms of crony capitalism and there’s protecting the legacy fund,” Harper said. “And I think everyone wants to know about security, public safety in this community, and economic development.”
Mayor Henry said the work his administration has done over the last four years will speak for itself.
“Well I think the most important thing that I could say to the voters of Fort Wayne is, where were we at four years ago? Are we better off than where we were?” said Mayor Henry. “If so then we need to move in that direction.”
Mayor Henry plans to highlight some of those accomplishments including, infrastructure, downtown development, riverfront development and public safety.
One thing that both parties do agree that the debate will give voters an opportunity to address some key issues in the city.
“It’s terribly important that we have some kind of debate like this to really showcase what each candidate has in mind as far as their vision for the future,” said Mayor Henry.
“Folks have not been able to see the two of us except in some very narrow circumstances together,” said Harper. “So I look forward to that contrast.”