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Both Allen County political party chairmen react to municipal election results

(Left) Allen County Democratic Party Chairman Derek Camp. (Right) Allen County Republican Party Chairman Steve Shine.
(Left) Derek Camp (Right) Shine & Hardin, LLP.
(Left) Allen County Democratic Party Chairman Derek Camp. (Right) Allen County Republican Party Chairman Steve Shine.

Both Allen County political party leaders said they could not have asked for much more from Tuesday night’s election results.

Republicans picked up a seat on the Fort Wayne City Council with Marty Bender winning one of the at-large seats.

Republican Luke Fries got more votes than Democrats Audrey Davis and Stephanie Crandall in the at-large city council race. Republican City Clerk Lana Keesling was the highest vote getter on the ballot in Fort Wayne when she defeated Democratic challenger Porche Williams.

Republican Tom Didier narrowly lost the mayor’s race to Democratic incumbent Mayor Tom Henry by a 52% to 48% margin, according to unofficial results from Tuesday night.

Allen County Republican Chairman Steve Shine said he felt even the losing campaigns made an impact.

“If it were not for Tom Didier’s wonderful campaigning over the last year, we may not have been as successful as we were,” Shine said.

Democrats swept the contested races in Monroeville which gave them a 3-2 majority on the Monroeville Town Council.

Democratic Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry won a record fifth term in office. Fort Wayne City Councilwoman Michelle Chambers, a Democrat, won reelection to her at-large seat as the top vote getter in the at-large race.

Democrat Bobbi Elston won the Monroeville town clerk-treasurer’s race, and each contested race in Fort Wayne was close, something Allen County Democratic Chairman Derek Camp said is important.

“By competing for these seats, we closed the gaps,” Camp said. “We also made (Republicans) work for it and made them actually have to pay attention and get nervous about some of these seats, and they’ve never had to do that before.”

Shine said he doesn’t believe Henry will run for a sixth term and that there are “some strong Republicans waiting in the wings” for that seat.

When asked if Henry will run for a sixth term, Camp said, “Never say never.”

Both party chairs said Tuesday’s results put their respective parties in position for success in future elections.

Tony Sandleben joined the WBOI News team in September of 2022.