City Council candidates gear up for upcoming election

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21)- With the election just around the corner, those seeking office in Allen County are appealing to voters before they hit the polls.

Wednesday night, city council candidates came together to discuss issues and say they are committed to making sure the city continues to improve.

Michelle Chambers, a Democrat at-large candidate, said she and her team have been preparing for election day.

“We are busy knocking on doors every Saturday, we’re calling people, we’re sharing the message about me that I have 25 years of public experience, I’m a business owner,” Chambers said.

She said that if she gets a spot on council, she will add diversity to the group.

“Right now our council consists of nine men and it’s just time for the council to be reflective of our entire city because women are 51 percent of the registered voters here in Fort Wayne,” Chambers said.

Candidates said they are focusing on issues they want voters to know they are committed to. Michael Barranda, a Republican at-large candidate, said he wants to do work for the people.

“It’s all about pragmatic solutions, trying to be a an effective legislator for the people,” Barranda said.

Each candidate said they want to push more people to go to the polls this year. John Henry, a Democrat for the 3rd District, said he wants to make sure he understands why people aren’t voting and wants to fix that.

“Maybe 20 percent of the people exercise their right to vote and if those are the people that are deciding on who runs the city, then my job as well, being a city council person is to go out through the next 4 years and talk to those 80 percent as well the 20 percent and find out why the 80 percent didn’t vote.” Henry said.

His opponent, Republican Tom Didier, said he thinks voters will want to come to the polls this year.

“I think we’re going to see a really good turn out, because I think people are excited about Fort Wayne and I think they want to make the city better. And the way to make the city better is to get out and vote, and be energized to the community,” Didier said.

The candidates say they want to implement policies that focus on their district. Misti Meehan, a Democrat for the 1st District, said she wants to focus on hearing what the people in her district want and need.

“Downtown is great, but we need some attention the 1st District specifically, and we need somebody to take our ideas forward, to listen to feedback from the constituency.” Meehan said.

Dider said he wants to focus on his district, but also make sure he is paying attention to all of Fort Wayne also.

“I want to do what’s best for the whole city as a whole. Not just my district, but the whole city because a decision that I might make somewhere else could impact the city as a whole.” Dider said.

All of the candidates want to see people at the polls this election day. Early voting begins Tuesday, Oct. 8th, and election day is Tuesday, Nov. 5th.

 

Arielle Cadet

Arielle Cadet

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