Tight at-large race produces mix of old, new council members

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – After a tight six-way race, three at-large council seats will be filled with a new face, a longtime councilman in a new position and an incumbent.

About 3,500 votes separated first place Tom Freistroffer and sixth place Nathan Hartman in the Allen County Election Board’s unofficial final results Tuesday night.

Republican Councilman Michael Barranda lost his at-large seat by less than 600 votes, while another position was opened as John Crawford ran against and eventually lost to Tim Smith in the primary election.

The three at-large members will join Council members will join Republican Paul Ensley, Republican Russ Jehl, Republican Tom Didier, Republican Jason Arp, and Democrat Geoff Paddock who were all re-elected Tuesday, along with new-comer Sharon Tucker.

Meet the Council Members: Michelle Chambers

Michelle Chambers became the second African American woman to claim victory in a city council race the November election, a milestone made in Fort Wayne.

Michelle Chambers talks with supporters at the Grand Wayne Center before claiming her at-large victory.

Despite Chambers having the least familiar name in the at-large seats, she was born in Fort Wayne.

She moved back home after earning a B.A. in child development from California State University-Los Angeles and a master’s degree in public administration from National University-Los Angeles.

Meet the Council Members: Glynn Hines

Glynn Hines is more than familiar with the role of being a city councilman. He served the city’s 6th district for 20 years.

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Glynn Hines sits down with WANE 15’s Terra Brantley to talk about years on city council.

Hines decided in early 2018 that he would no longer run for re-election in his district, citing health issues. A year later, he told WANE 15 he would run for an at-large seat.

“There’s still work to do throughout the entire community,” said Hines. “I have supported projects all around town, like Electric Works, Riverfront, The Landing, economic development and infrastructure improvements in the entire community. I look forward to continue practicing a culture of servant leadership for four more years.”

Meet the Council Members: Tom Freistroffer

Republican Tom Freistroffer held off stiff competition to keep his at-large seat at the council table.

Tom Freistroffer talks with WANE 15’s Sierra Tufts.

Freistroffer, a Fort Wayne native, campaigned on being a small business owner who is fiscally responsible. He represents City Council on the Fort Wayne Plan Commission.

Freistroffer earned his BA in social studies at the University of Notre Dame and a Masters Degree in Education from Indiana University.

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