NEWS-SENTINEL EDITORIAL: Recapping our endorsements for Tuesday’s election

Fort Wayne residents will head to the polls Tuesday to elect a mayor, city clerk and nine City Council members. Following is a recap of then News-Sentinel Editorial Board’s endorsements in the election.

Fort Wayne mayor: Tim Smith, Republican. Our judgment is that while three-term Mayor Tom Henry has done an admirable job, Smith articulates a stronger plan for the city moving forward. He is keenly focused on job and population growth. He has outlined solid plans to address issues surrounding public safety, city services and infrastructure. And he will instantly improve the working relationship between the mayor’s office and a City Council likely to retain its Republican majority.

City clerk: Lana Keesling, Republican. We believe the structure, professionalism and technological improvements Keesling brought to the clerk’s office in her first term were sorely needed. The office is on the right path under her leadership, and voters should give her a second term over Democrat Katie Zuber.

City Council At-Large: Michael Barranda, Republican; Tom Freistroffer, Republican; and Nathan Hartman, Republican. Voters will vote for three candidates out of six on the ballot. Republicans have all three seats now, including incumbents Barranda and Freistroffer, and John Crawford, who is stepping away from the council after an unsuccessful bid for mayor. Hartman, an actuarial pension consultant, is a pragmatic fiscal conservative who will be a good addition to the council. The Democrats running for the at-large seat include Glynn Hines, Michelle Chambers and Steve Corona.

City Council District 1: Paul Ensley, Republican. Ensley is seeking a second term on the council. His commitment to low taxes and limited government make him an important conservative voice that needs to be retained. He is committed to protecting the city’s Legacy Fund, making sure it is used properly and maintained at appropriate levels. Ensley’s opponent is Misty Meehan, the county’s Democratic chairwoman.

City Council District 3: Tom Didier, Republican. Didier is a bipartisan pragmatist who has demonstrated a willingness to work with his constituents to address district issues. He is seeking a fifth term on the council and his knowledge and experience make him the choice over Democrat John Henry.

City Council District 4: Jason Arp, Republican. Arp represents an important voice on council – one that adheres to conservative convictions of minimal taxation and limited government. His principles may not always align with other council members, but they help check government overreach and protect his constituents from yielding control of the taxes they pay to big public-private projects at the expense of neighborhood infrastructure. He faces AWS Services CEO Patti Hays in the election.

City Council District 5: Geoff Paddock, Democrat. Paddock, who is seeking his third term on council, has demonstrated a willingness to work in a bipartisan fashion with his fellow council members to address city issues. He has been a strong advocate for the Electric Works redevelopment project. He is better positioned to serve the needs of District 5 constituents than his opponent, Republican Taylor Vanover, a 21-year-old newcomer.

In City Council District 2, incumbent Republican Russ Jehl is running unopposed for a third term. Similarly, in City Council District 6, Democrat Sharon Tucker is running unopposed. Hines currently holds the District 6 seat, but is pursuing re-election as an at-large candidate.