Fort Wayne has a recent history of intense Republican primaries in its race for mayor. This year was no exception, as Tim Smith and Councilman John Crawford each shared their vision for Fort Wayne with Republican primary voters.
All elections are a competition for ideas, and as Republicans we value this open competition in the public arena. We are fortunate in Indiana to have so many candidates willing to step up and build on the momentum our state has gained in recent years. With strong candidates and intense campaigns, it takes effort and focus to ensure that all conservatives come back together in time for the general election.
As Republicans, we need to come together and rally around Tim Smith. That's because this race is bigger than Tim Smith or John Crawford. It's about uniting behind good government that better serves Hoosiers. This race is about making Fort Wayne a safer and stronger city for all its citizens.
Tim Smith has a solid plan for moving Fort Wayne forward. This is a plan that all conservatives can get behind. Tim is committed to directing city resources toward roads, job training and education. He'll focus on Fort Wayne's neighborhoods and continuing the growth of downtown. And he will bring a business approach to the basics of city government, like making sure that trash is picked up across the city on time.
Most importantly, Tim Smith will focus on reversing the disturbing crime and murder trends Fort Wayne has experienced under Tom Henry. Under Henry, violent crime has jumped 17%, and Fort Wayne had record levels of homicides in both 2017 and 2018. Tim Smith is focused on putting more police officers on the streets and giving law enforcement the resources they need. Tim knows that until the leadership of Fort Wayne is focused on ensuring that crime levels and murders drop in Fort Wayne, it will not become a safer place to raise a family.
Tim will do this and so much more for Fort Wayne, and he will do it in a principled, conservative way – all while holding the line on spending. He'll work to reduce Fort Wayne's debt, which has risen a staggering 230% under Tom Henry.
As the chairman of the Indiana Republican Party, I can share with you that Tim Smith represents the very best of our party. He's built his career helping lead a business to success in Fort Wayne, and he's got a fresh vision for the city that's based squarely on solving the city's greatest challenges. That's why Gov. Eric Holcomb, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the leadership of the Republican Party from across the state are backing Tim 100% and are working every day to ensure that he is elected.
Fort Wayne should expect more from its mayor than it has received in recent years. Fort Wayne deserves real leadership. It deserves Tim Smith, and I'd encourage you to make him your choice to be Fort Wayne's next mayor.
Kyle Hupfer is chairman of the Indiana Republican Party.