Democrats win mayoral elections in Fort Wayne, Muncie

Democrat Tom Henry has won a second term as mayor of Fort Wayne after a bitter campaign against a former Allen County councilwoman.

Unofficial results Tuesday showed Henry had 50 percent of the vote compared with 46 percent for Republican Paula Hughes. Independent candidate Haley Ahrendt had 4 percent.

The Henry-Hughes campaign was marked with negative campaign ads and threats by Hughes to sue Henry for accusing her of failing to pay taxes on a failed business.

Fort Wayne has had a Democratic mayor since 1999.

Elsewhere in Indiana, Muncie elected its first Democrat mayor in 20 years. State Rep. Dennis Tyler defeated incumbent Republican Sharon McShurley, ending her four-year term that was marked by a contentious relationship with the Democratic-controlled City Council. With several precincts still missing, Tyler led McShurley 56 percent to 44 percent, according to unofficial results.

It was a decisive victory compared to four years ago, when McShurley became the city's first female mayor as she beat Democrat Jim Mansfield by 13 votes following a recount that was challenged in court. For Tyler, it was his second run at mayor. He was beaten by Republican incumbent Dan Canan in 2003.

In Bloomington, Democratic Mayor Mark Kruzan was unopposed in his bid for a third term.

In Carmel, Republican Mayor James Brainard was unopposed for a fifth term.

In Lafayette, Democratic Mayor Tony Roswarski was unopposed for a third term after the Republican who won the primary withdrew and party leaders decided to not replace him.

In Anderson, incumbent Democrat Kris Ockomon lost to former Mayor Kevin Smith in a re-match of the 2007 election, when Ockomon narrowly defeated Smith.

In Kokomo, Democrat Greg Goodnight handily won a second term, defeating Republican Scott Kern, a firefighter.

In Columbus, Republican Kristen Brown, a software company executive, received more than 67 percent of the vote to become Columbus' next mayor. Democratic City Councilwoman Priscilla Scalf received about 33 percent of the vote in the race to replace Mayor Fred Armstrong, a Democrat who is leaving office after 16 years.

In Terre Haute, Bennett easily defeated Democrat Fred Nation, an Indianapolis Motor Speedway executive, after winning by just more than 100 votes four years ago. Nation was a press secretary for former Gov. Evan Bayh. He had campaigned on a promise of creating jobs.

In South Bend, Pete Buttigieg, the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for state treasurer last year, easily defeated Republican Wayne Curry, 74 percent to 19 percent in unofficial results. Libertarian Patrick Farrell finished with 7 percent.

The race was relatively quiet in the heavily Democratic city, and Buttigieg had been widely expected to win. The last Republican to be elected mayor of the northern Indiana City was Lloyd Allen in 1967.

Mayor Stephen Luecke decided not to seek re-election after 14 years of leading Indiana's fourth-largest city.

In neighboring Mishawaka, voters elected incumbent Republican Dave Wood, who was selected mayor by a GOP caucus last year after Jeff Rea resigned. Wood easily defeated Democrat state Rep. Craig Fry in the city that has had only one Democrat mayor since 1963.

In Gary, former state attorney general Karen Freeman-Wilson was expected to become that city's first female mayor. That northwestern Indiana city hasn't elected a Republican mayor in more than 70 years, and Charles Smith Jr. hasn't received more than 23 percent of the vote in two previous tries.

Freeman-Wilson was seeking to replace Democrat Rudy Clay, who didn't seek re-election because of health problems.


Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}