FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Democratic councilman Geoff Paddock is seeking his third term on city council. He is being challenged by Republican Taylor Vanover in a race he said has been mostly positive so far, but according to Paddock as Election Day nears Vanover’s campaign has taken a negative turn.
Paddock is speaking out against mailers sent out by Vanover’s campaign, specifically one that calls Fort Wayne one of the country’s deadliest cities. It also says that neighborhoods are being ignored and that Paddock has failed his district. Paddock, along with representatives from neighborhood associations in his district, came together outside of Electric Works to say that is simply not true.
“We are one of the safest cities in America, and the statistics from federal law enforcement officials that were recently passed down to Mayor Henry and Police Chief Reed actually reinforce that,” said Paddock.
Paddock said his opponent should issue an apology but Vanover, who pulled his information from a 2018 USA Today article, said he stands by the mailers because there is nothing false about them.
“You have someone who is ineffective as a councilman and is just kind of a vote and you need to have the person representing your district help you, especially those neighborhood leaders,” said Vanover. “I felt bad for them and I want to help them and really be their voice.”
According to Vanover, his advantage is that he is young, engaged, and ready to fight for to increase business growth and wages in his neighborhoods. He has also been vocal when it comes to infrastructure.
“I’ve produced the Vanover Plan, which will allocate existing money within the budget and will have that to be prioritized such as alleys, sidewalks, and other things that the neighborhoods need.”
Infrastructure has been a big focus for Paddock as well. It is something he said he has been working to improve while in office.
“For the first time ever we are resurfacing alleys and we’re also working on brick streets.”
He said he would also like to see more small businesses re-purpose some of the fifth district’s older buildings, much like the Electric Works project but on a smaller scale.
“I’d like to see more areas like the Clyde Theater renovated,” said Paddock. “The Rialto is a good example of that. That’s been started but unfortunately stalled so I’d like to look into that.”
Paddock was first elected in 2011 and was unopposed in the last election. Vanover is a newcomer to Fort Wayne’s political scene. Election Day is Tuesday November 5. As your local election headquarters, WANE 15 will be following local ballots closely and updating as numbers come in.