Is it negative or informative? Depends on who you ask.
A new TV ad is stirring up Fort Wayne’s Republican mayoral primary.
Business executive Tim Smith began airing a new ad talking about Dr. John Crawford and his 20 years of city council votes – specifically those that raise taxes or fees.
“Campaigns are about making informed educated choices,” Smith told WANE 15 News. “I want to inform and educate the public regarding the differences between Councilman Crawford and myself,”
Crawford is disappointed in the negative tone – especially in the mail piece sent out headlined “20 Years of John Crawford Hurt Fort Wayne.” Crawford said the two agreed at their debate they would support each other after the primary.
“How do you send out a mailer and say ’20 years of John Crawford has hurt Fort Wayne’ and then come out after that and say ‘vote Crawford?’ Crawford asked. “It’s not too easy.
“When you put 20 years into public service, and probably 10,000 hours of being at Council, to say that your whole career has hurt Fort Wayne, there’s really nothing more negative than that that you can say.”
Crawford contends a challenger like Smith has it easy, never facing two bad choices such as laying off police and fire or voting for a revenue enhancer.
“The (Indiana) legislature put (that option) in when they passed the property tax caps,” Crawford says, “knowing that local governments would face critical gaps in funding.”
Smith contends Crawford has voted to raise taxes three times since 2013.
“If I would have been on Council, I would have voted ‘no’ each time,” says Smith. “Had I been the mayor, I would have vetoed all three of them.”
Crawford says his supporters are extremely shocked and disappointed.
“Not to use his tagline but they expected more out of him as a candidate.”
Crawford has called a press conference for Tuesday to address the matter further.