This is the race for which we had most of our no-shows -- only three of the seven candidates came for endorsement interviews. Don't Democrats like us? I think the three who came are probably the cream of the crop. Incumbent John Shoaff bucked his party and the administration on Harrison Square. Denise Porter-Ross is a neighborhood advocate and involved in Fort Wayne's All-America City bid. Tom Essex is a lawyer who took over the Wayne Township Trustee's office in troubled times. (See the video here) Also in the race is Melvin Billingsley, a pastor and one-time County Council member with pretty good name recognition; Richard Cline, who has run for a number of offices (we've never endorsed him, which may be why he skipped us this time); and two people I'm unfamiliar with, Michael Reef and Eddie Arrington.
On the five questions, Shoaff is against Harrison Square, and Porter-Ross and Essex like it. Shoaff is for the tougher smoking ban, Porter-Ross would be "willing to revisit it," and Essex thinks there should be exceptions for people who made the effort to comply with the current ordinance. All three favor studying government reorganization to one degree or another. On city government priorities, Shoaff lists downtown development, Porter-Ross favors reaching out to people, and Essex identifies public safety. The "best of Fort Wayne"? Shoaff: Our small town-big city mix. Porter-Ross: Community oriented government. Essex: We're a thriving and growing city.