‘I know this is my time’: Fort Wayne Councilman Tom Didier announces mayoral bid, Henry weighing future

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Republican Fort Wayne Councilman Tom Didier officially threw his hat in the ring for Fort Wayne Mayor.

Councilman Didier is one of the longest running members of council, representing the 3rd District. He is the first to officially announce his bid, nearly two years before the election.

During his announcement, he stated that his mission is to keep “Fort Wayne First.”

“When I wake up every morning, I think ‘what is the next great thing that we can do for Fort Wayne?’ That includes the little things as well, answering that phone call from that constituent that calls me saying ‘Tom, I have been trying for months and months and months to get a hold of somebody, and I just want to get my curb fixed’.” Didier said. “I’ll talk to them, I’ll move forward with it, and that’s what it’s all about, making every single person feel important.”

Didier said he believes this is his time, that his path is vivid and it’s leading to the Mayor’s Office. After winning his last election, he went to celebrate at Powers Hamburger, which is his tradition after a victory. However, on that November night in 2019, his victory was bittersweet because of a question that kept gnawing at him.

“Why do we always lose the mayor’s race? I just don’t understand why this happens,” Didier said.

The 18-year city servant said he wants to be a welder that welds the Republican party back together. He stressed that he always wanted to be for the good of the party and that’s part of the reason he announced his bid so early, because he wants to show how serious he is about running.

If elected, his focus will be continuing the development of downtown, but also developing neighborhoods in the Summit City. He also wants to bring more high paying tech jobs to the area, and creating an environment that unleashes job creators.

“I’m about the whole community. I know the city inside and out,” Didier said during his announcement. “I’m going to be working for everybody.”

The 59-year-old said for the good of the party he held off on entering the mayoral race for years. Despite turning 60 soon, he said he has the energy of a 35-year-old and his time now is now.

“Tom Didier: affable person, he is well liked, he has a great personality he has tremendous experience on city council,” said Steven Shine, Allen County Republican Party Chairman, “In fact, he was the last person to win an election against our incumbent Mayor Tom Henry, so he has a lot of political power.”

Shine commends Didier for announcing early. He said it will set him apart from any other potential candidates.

Current Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry told WANE 15 on a couple occasions that he would not seek a fifth term.

WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee reached out to Mayor Henry to learn about his plans. Henry issued the following statement:

“The City of Fort Wayne has achieved several major successes in recent months. As your Mayor, and with the bipartisan support of many, we are poised to continue that unprecedented momentum. I am well aware that no person has served five terms as Mayor of the City of Fort Wayne. While it would be an honor to serve a fifth term as Mayor, no decisions have been made and all options remain open as to my political future.”

Didier was elected to his first term on City Council in 2003 to serve Fort Wayne City Council’s 3rd District. He served as President of Council in 2008, 2013, 2017 and 2020. If elected as Mayor in 2023, it will mark 20 years he has been a city official.

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