Tom Henry might be mayor of Fort Wayne, but that doesnt mean his financial support comes from the Summit City.
About two-thirds of the $283,000 Henry reported raising last year – not including interest earned – came from individual and business donors outside his home city.
Whether that is problematic for the mayor is another question. Andy Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at IPFW, said campaigns want to raise as much money as possible but also must pay attention to where the money comes from.
The mayor even touched on this point in his prepared statement about his finances.
I would hope the strong support demonstrated in this report is a reflection of my administrations effectiveness and the desire of others to see this kind of leadership continue both here in Fort Wayne and across Indiana, he wrote.
Like sitting mayors in the past, Henry received donations from companies that do business with the city, including legal firms, engineers and other consultants.
Here is a list of his largest donors:
Baker & Daniels of Indianapolis, $17,500; Vincent Sommers of Plainfield, $13,500; Carson Boxberger Attorneys of Fort Wayne, $12,500; Bonar Group of Fort Wayne, $10,000; Eilbacher Fletcher of Fort Wayne, $10,000; William Hall of Greenfield, $8,500; Gregory Henneke of Indianapolis, $8,500; James Kovacs of Avon, $8,000; Trier Law Office of Fort Wayne, $8,000; Martha OConnor, of Indianapolis, $7,500; David Speth of Sheboygan Falls, Wis., $6,750; William Niezer of Fort Wayne, $5,000; John Ryan of Fort Wayne, $5,000; Citizens for Excellence in Government of Indianapolis, $5,000; and DLZ Indiana of South Bend, $5,000.
About 65 percent of Hoosiers approve of the job Gov. Mitch Daniels is doing, according to a new poll released by the Indiana Association of Realtors.
His approval rating was highest in the Indianapolis area. Overall, his approval rating hits 66 percent among urban voters and even higher among rural voters.
By comparison, only 47 percent of those Hoosiers polled in January approved of the job the General Assembly is doing.
Voters are split on the direction of Indiana – with 48 percent saying it is going in the right direction and 44 percent in the wrong direction. The rest refused to answer the question or didnt know.
The economy remains the biggest concern, by far for Hoosiers, followed by health care issues.
Also included in the poll was a question about President Obamas approval rating. Only 44 percent of Hoosiers approved of the job he is doing, with 53 percent disapproving.
Bowing out early
Even before the race has begun, a potential Republican candidate has said he is not interested in running for mayor of Fort Wayne.
Allen County Recorder John McGauley posted a letter on his Facebook social-networking page stating he does not plan to seek the office next year.
McGauley, who is seeking re-election as recorder this year, said he is interested in city politics and the direction of the community.
But he also wrote that he has concerns about the time commitment of being mayor, especially with a young daughter.
So the answer to, am I Running for Mayor (or Anything Else) in 2011? is No. Someday, yes. But not next year, he wrote.
Former Fort Wayne mayoral candidate Matt Kelty has publicly stated he is paying back his loans that were central to his conviction of campaign finance violations.
Kelty was sued in November by Fred Rost, a former campaign official for Kelty, for not paying back $125,000 of the $150,000 lent to Kelty for the campaign.
Kelty responded this month that he has not failed to pay the loans.
But one thing is clear: Kelty is not paying back his campaign account.
His annual report last week showed Kelty still owes $158,000 in two loans to his campaign. Kelty did not raise any money last year, according to the report.
The filing period for state legislative offices began last week, and several local officials are seeking re-election.
In the Senate, Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, is running for his District 19 seat again. Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, is also seeking re-election in District 14.
Sen. Gary Dillon, R-Columbia City, had already decided to retire from District 17. Whitley County Republican Jim Banks has filed for that seat.
In the House, five Republicans have signed up: Rep. Dick Dodge, R-Pleasant Lake, in District 51; Rep. Dan Leonard, R-Huntington, in District 50; Rep. Phyllis Pond, R-New Haven, in District 85; Rep. David Yarde, R-Garrett, in District 52 and Rep. Dave Wolkins, R-Winona Lake, in District 18.
So far, none of the lawmakers face competition, but filing continues until Feb. 19.