Republican at-large councilman John Crawford officially filed to run for mayor of Fort Wayne in the 2019 municipal elections.
While Crawford announced his intent to run last May, he officially filed the paperwork and launched his campaign Wednesday morning at Allen County Republican Headquarters.
Crawford shared his campaign goals, which didn’t stray terribly far from the goals he shared during his May announcement: a “zero-sum” budget and emphasis on fiscal conservatism, as well as more attention and proactivity toward the opioid crisis.
One newer facet of Crawford’s platform is an emphasis on crime. He says a significant increase in homicides around Fort Wayne has led to a need for new approaches. One of his proposals is to install high-tech surveillance cameras in “high crime areas.”
“It’s really on people's’ minds right now," said Crawford. "The triple-murder on Thanksgiving, the quintuple-shooting; that really got people’s attention, and we’ve had many more since then. We’re right at the record number for homicides in 2018.”
He cited the connection between crime and the community’s public health crises as another reason for proposing new ideas. He also called for more police officers and better pay for them.
But the desire to enhance local surveillance isn’t set in stone: a “fifth Tuesday” City Council meeting will be held on Jan. 29, allowing residents and officials to add their two cents on that issue, and local crime in general.
Crawford concluded by stating his desire to run a positive campaign local Republicans can rally behind, contrary to themes seen in the national landscape.
He is expected to be challenged in the May 7 primary by Republican Tim Smith. The candidate to survive the primary is expected to square off against incumbent Democrat Tom Henry, who expressed his interest in re-election last July.