Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The caucus for Fort Wayne's next mayor to feature seven candidates

The logo of the Allen County Democratic Party
Allen County Democrats
Allen County Democratic Party
The logo of the Allen County Democratic Party

Seven Democrat candidates have emerged to succeed Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry.

Henry died late last month barely a week after making public his late-stage stomach cancer diagnosis. The following day, Deputy Mayor Karl Bandemer was sworn in as acting mayor until the Allen County Democrats caucus in someone to fill out the remainder of the term Henry was elected to in November.

The first candidate to declare was Jorge Fernandez. He ran for mayor in 2023, but lost in the primary to Henry. He is also running for an Allen County Council at-large seat, a campaign he will have to suspend if he wins Saturday’s caucus.

Next was Fort Wayne At Large City Councilwoman Michelle Chambers. Outside of Henry, she won the most votes of any candidate in the 2023 municipal elections. She was elected to her second term on council in that race.

Sixth District City Councilwoman Sharon Tucker declared her candidacy after that. She was elected to her second term on the Fort Wayne City Council in November after serving five years on the Allen County Council.

Indiana House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta then declared his candidacy. He’s been representing Fort Wayne in the State House of Representatives since 2006 and has been leading House Democrats since 2018.

Soon after that, Wayne Fort Wayne Community Liaison Palermo Galindo filed his candidacy. As Community Liaison, Galindo helped establish and now manages the city-wide 311 service.

Wayne Township Trustee Austin Knox then filed for his candidacy. Knox has been township trustee since January of 2020.

Fort Wayne Intergovernmental Affairs Director and former City Council Candidate Stephanie Crandall was the last of the eligible candidates to file. She ran for an at-large seat on the Fort Wayne City Council in 2023, but lost to Michelle Chambers, Thomas Freistroffer and Marty Bender.

The caucus will likely include multiple rounds of voting. Rounds will continue until one candidate receives more than half of the votes of those present. After each round, the candidate with the least number of votes as well as anyone who receives zero votes gets removed from the ballot. The winner will get sworn in as Fort Wayne's next mayor at a ceremony likely next week.

The caucus is set to begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Lincoln Financial Event Center at Parkview Field.

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