Political Notebook

  • Shepard to receive democracy award
    The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site has announced Randall T. Shepard of Evansville as the recipient of the 2014 Advancing American Democracy Award.
  • Stutzman ready for a real recess
    Congress is off the month of August for a "district work period," but its members and the media still refer to such breaks as "recess."
  • Liz Brown gets 4 endorsements
    Liz Brown, the Republican running for the Senate District 15 seat, announced four endorsements Thursday.

Liz Brown coy on possible mayoral run

Even as politicos begin to focus on the upcoming midterm elections, speculation is swirling about next year’s Fort Wayne mayoral race.

The hottest buzz last week involved City Councilwoman Liz Brown, R-at large, who several sources said is going to run for the city’s executive post. In just her first term on council, Brown has made a name for herself by aggressively criticizing city spending and other decisions.

But despite being known for her candor, Brown was noticeably coy when asked whether she planned to run.

“I’m not 100 percent sure what I want to do next,” she said. “I’m keeping all my options open.”

Steve Shine, local GOP chairman, said he has not heard from Brown directly about running for the position, although he admitted, “the rumor is prevalent.”

He said Brown consulted him when she planned to run for Congress and the council, although he added such consultation is by no means required.

Eric Doden, who works for Ambassador Enterprises, said he is planning to start an exploratory committee to examine the post, although he noted the effort is still in its “embryonic stage.”

County Councilwoman Paula Hughes, R-2nd, has already made her intentions clear about running for the position although she has not formally announced.

Shine said he expects the primary to be contested. Mayor Tom Henry has not yet said whether he will seek a second term, but he has actively raised money during his years as mayor.

Announcing early

At least one Fort Wayne candidate isn’t hiding plans for next year. Local businessman Donald Bobay will announce this week his intentions to run for the 2nd District City Council seat.

Bobay has worked in the construction industry for 45 years. He owns Conservative Energy Management and is the managing partner of All Division Commercial Building Products and Services.

Missing from his release is what party he is in, but his Facebook page notes he will seek the Republican nomination.

Councilwoman Karen Goldner, D-2nd, has yet to say whether she will seek re-election.

Treading water

Apparently Republican secretary of state candidate Charlie White had a bit of an aquatic adventure when trying to get to the Kosciusko Republican Party’s annual Hall of Fame dinner this month.

County GOP Chairman Randy Girod said the event was conducted aboard the SS Lillypad on Lake Wawasee in Syracuse. Unfortunately for White, he arrived three minutes after the boat had launched.

Girod said this didn’t stop the hopeful from attending as he jumped aboard a passing Jet Ski to be ferried to the boat.

But even this didn’t work as the watercraft became stuck in the weeds.

Fortunately for White, a passing speedboat collected the stranded candidate and successfully transported him to SS Lillypad, where guests hoisted him aboard to a standing ovation.

A fresh start

Failed County Council candidate Aaron Knight of Monroeville is now a member of the Madison Township advisory board.

Knight and Jane Linker were appointed to fill two vacant seats on the board by Republican Party Chairman Steve Shine this month. Both are also candidates for the posts in November.

In his first run for public office in May, Knight lost the Republican primary for the 1st District County Council seat to Kevin Howell of Fort Wayne.

Debate prep

Northeast Indiana residents have a chance to help create the questions for an upcoming debate between candidates looking to become the next area congressman.

The Women’s Bureau and newly re-formed League of Women Voters are looking for people to provide questions to ask Marlin Stutzman, Tom Hayhurst and Scott Wise.

Voters can submit questions online at www.womensbureau.com or www.lwvfw.org and clicking the e-mail links for Jeannette Dillon or Nancy McCammon-Hansen. The deadline for questions is Oct. 1.

The debate will air live on WANE-TV at 7 p.m. Oct. 12.

Amanda Iacone of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

To reach Political Notebook by e-mail, contact Benjamin Lanka at blanka@jg.net or Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net. To discuss this entry of Political Notebook or others, go to the Political Notebook topic of “The Board” at www.journalgazette.net.