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Crawford officially files to run for mayor

January 10, 2019

The first set of mailers Fort Wayne residents will receive from one Republican mayoral candidate will be scratch-and-sniff. 

“That’s never been done in Fort Wayne,” John Crawford told reporters Wednesday at Allen County Republican Party Headquarters. “We’re going to try to do different things like that, to keep people a little off-balance and maybe make people notice things.”

Crawford officially filed paperwork with the Allen County Election Board on Wednesday declaring his candidacy for mayor.

Crawford is expected to face Tim Smith in the May 7 Republican primary. If successful, Crawford will face Mayor Tom Henry, a Democrat, in the November general election. Henry has said he plans to seek re-election but has not yet filed official paperwork with the election board. 

Wednesday was the first day for candidates to officially declare their intention to run. Candidates have until noon Feb. 8 to file. 

Crawford, an oncologist, was elected to an at-large City Council seat in 1995. He lost a re-election bid in 2007 but returned to the council in 2011.

As his campaign begins in earnest, Crawford said his platform will focus on fiscal conservatism, public safety and crime, the opioid crisis and public health, economic development and collaborative leadership. 

“We will have a positive message to tell people the ways we plan to make citizens’ lives better. We will spend our time giving citizens reasons to vote for us, rather than tear down our opponents,” Crawford said in a statement.

That means running a positive campaign that avoids negative attacks, he said. 

“People were extremely turned off by all the negativity in 2018 and of the recent elections. They just wanted those elections to be over,” Crawford said. “So we’re really not going to do that very much. We’re going to pretty much give people a positive campaign and tell them why they should vote for us. We’re not going to tear down our opponent.”

Crawford said that strategy is the best to unify the Republican Party heading into November. 

“For 20 years, we have lost the mayor’s office. The Republican Party has not united well after the primary and that’s the main reason we’ve lost,” Crawford said. “We’ve actually had better ideas and better candidates many times and we still lost because we didn’t bring all the Republicans on board.”

As for the scratch-and-sniff mailers, Crawford said residents should expect them beginning this week.

dgong@jg.net

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