FORT WAYNE, Ind (WANE) - Fort Wayne's City Council elected Republican mayoral candidate John Crawford as its 2019 president Tuesday night.
Crawford has been City Council president before during election years saying during the meeting "I don't know if that's a blessing or a curse." Crawford replaces outgoing 2018 Council President John Freistroffer. Crawford said he does not believe his campaign for mayor will have any impact on his duties as council president.
"I'm not going to use the presidency as a political tool," Crawford said. "But no I don't really think it will make that much difference."
Last year, Crawford was the Vice President of the Council last year. Business executive Tim Smith is also running for the Republican nomination for mayor. He told WANE 15 News he wants to congratulate Crawford on his election, and he understands it is traditional for the Council to elect the previous year's vice president as president, but added "that's not how it works in the business world. Under my administration, you will only get a position if you are the most qualified."
The City Council also unanimously elected retiring Democratic Councilman Glynn Hines as Vice President.
Crawford said his goal is to keep the Council running efficiently and make sure discussions remain cordial. He also said he believes Congress could learn something from the way Fort Wayne's City Council operates.
"One thing Fort Wayne's City Council has always been good about: very respectful," said Crawford. "We may disagree 180 degrees on an issue, but it's always above board and. If we disagree, we disagree in an agreeable way. Then the next week it's onto another. It's totally not like the national level. The national level is pretty poisonous right now."
Crawford will take on Smith in the Republican Mayoral Primary before going against Mayor Tom Henry in the November general election.