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Allen County Commissioner files for Mayoral run

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Nelson Peters Allen County Commissioner

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA21) — Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters has taken the first step in the 2023 race for Fort Wayne Mayor.

Peters, a Republican, filed exploratory paperwork Wednesday with the Election Board for the mayoral election, according to a release sent to media.

"Filing this exploratory committee will provide me with the opportunity to look at a mayoral run through a finer lens," Peters said. "This will give me the chance to better understand the work that will be necessary to be successful in this venture and the issues that matter the most to the citizens of Fort Wayne."

He is currently in his fifth term as Allen County Commissioner and has served ten years on the Allen County Council.

Peters was re-elected to another term as 1st District Allen County Commissioner in November 2020.

The Indiana University graduate says he has assisted with economic development efforts in the county which have already totaled over $1.5 billion this year and over $1 billion in the previous four years.

Supported projects include Meijer Dupont, Electric Works, The Bradley Boutique Hotel, Lutheran Hospital, Amazon, Sweetwater, and Parkview Hospital.

“Now is not the time to take our foot off of the gas pedal," Peters said. "We have made great strides on so many fronts and I have helped to develop a landscape providing great business opportunities. We must maintain that momentum to ensure that companies will want to continue to expand and locate here.”

The release says Peters has also played a role in the Emergency Management/Homeland Security mergers, the 911/Communications department, the integration of the Department of Planning Services, and the consolidation of the City of Fort Wayne and Allen County Geographic Information System and Information Technology Boards.

Republican City Councilman Tom Didier announced his bid for Mayor back in May.

ABC21 talked to him over the phone Wednesday and he said he will work well with his fellow Republican.

Didier says he thinks the party needs to unite under one candidate.

Democrat Tim Pape, former city councilman, says he's planning to run for the position as well but he hasn't officially filed for his committee yet.

"My plan is to file and run for the Mayor," Pape said. "I want to be respectful and allow Tom Henry to keep doing the great job that he’s doing.” 

Pape says he wants to give current Mayor Tom Henry the time to focus on his job and he says it's too early to get this political.

He says when he runs he will focus on business investments, city development and bringing better jobs to Fort Wayne.

"I think there’s real opportunity that we haven’t tapped," Pape said. "We need to continue the momentum that Tom Henry brought.” 

Mayor Tom Henry still hasn't ruled out the possibility of a fifth term in his position as well.

Henry's campaign manager told ABC21 all options are still on the table right now.

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Karli VanCleave

Karli VanCleave is a multimedia journalist at WPTA for the evening newscast. Karli is a Fort Wayne native and Indiana University Bloomington graduate.
Feel free to connect with her on Facebook (@KarliVanCleaveNews) and Twitter (@Karli_VanCleave), or if you have a story idea send her an email at

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