Local Elections 2007 The Mayors Race

This year was a weird one as far as the mayor’s race in Fort Wayne. We have had one dominate party in this county, the G.O.P. The Democrats have had a tough time finding people to be on the ballot. Yet 8 years ago in the mayors race, the republican lost to the democrat. Happened again in 2003. Then our current Mayor, Graham Richard announces that he will not seek a third term.

The G.O.P. salivates, with anticipation of putting one of their own in the head honcho seat. Local G.O.P. county councilman Nelson Peters gets the nod as the favorite son although young Matt Kelty, a political virgin enters the primary to offer fresh blood. All of this is going on before the March primary. There are endorsements of several G.O.P. big wigs of Nelson Peters, and yet there is something going on that surprises the whole lot of them. Extremely low voter turn out for the primary and when the dust clears, Kelty wins, Peters is not on the ticket.

Then there are questions about the way Matt Kelty ran his campaign, where did the money come from? Did Kelty deceive the G.O.P.? Was it an honest mistake, or a dishonest mistake?

An investigation takes place by the election board and the 3 member board vote 2-1 along party lines to drop the matter and move forward. Except an outsider raises questions and now a grand jury is called to see if fraud and other charges should be levied against Matt Kelty.

The grand jury says yes, we will charge Kelty and now instead of a debate on the future of Fort Wayne, the debate is centered on Kelty’s character, competence, and the going’s on behind the scene in Allen Counties G.O.P. Of course the trial will not occur until after the November election, so we have to live and vote with doubts in our minds about all this.

By the way, the Dems have selected former City Councilman Tom Henry as their candidate to run this town of ours, but due to all the attention on Kelty’s Capers, little attention is paid by the press as to the issues of what Tom would do vs Matt to keep our city moving forward.

Two weeks before the election a debate is broadcast and Kelty comes off as confident and a man with vision. The winner of the debate…… Another debate the following week, and then, the election.

Okay, time for some personal revelations. I did not vote in the primary this year. I was busy and had no clear determination as to who I preferred. I would have voted in the republican primary, but that is more due to their ideals, not their actions of late. I was pretty flip-floppy over the summer and fall too until I started to lean towards the devil we know vs the devil we don’t know.

Devil is not a fair word for either candidate.  It’s just an expression.  But it came down to a matter of trust, not issues.  Because I liked Matt Kelty’s stand on issues, more than Tom Henry’s.  But the way his campaign was bungled several times, the way Matt played ignorance to questions that he should have known the answers to, and it appears he outright lied about his knowledge of who payed for an opinion poll, those issues were more important than the issues of running our city because he lost my trust.

If after the trial is over and Matt is found innocent of the charges, then we will have to see what Matt Kelty decides to do next.    I hope that this has been a positive learning experience for him and all those involved.     By the way,  Henry beat Kelty 60% to 40%.

And they say this is a Republican town.


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