Fort Wayne Councilman At-Large John Crawford officially filed his candidacy Jan. 9 to run for Fort Wayne mayor in the Republican primary election.
Crawford discussed his platform and answered questions during a news conference Wednesday morning at Allen County Republican headquarters, 135 W. Main St.
“We will have a positive message to tell people the ways we plan to make citizens’ lives better. We will spend our time giving citizens reasons to vote for us rather than tear down our opponents,” he said at the news conference.
Crawford also outlined his campaign’s platform, which includes fiscal conservatism, public health, crime reduction and economic development.
He said if elected he would draft the first zero-based budget in more than 20 years and re-evaluate all city expenditures and programs for their effectiveness and necessity.
Crawford works as an oncologist. He moved to Fort Wayne in 1976 to enter private practice, working with cancer patients utilizing radiation therapy. As a councilman, he spearheaded the city’s anti-smoking ordinance, which took effect in 2007.
Crawford said his background makes him the most qualified candidate to address the opioid crisis.
If elected, he would support adding more police officers and new, high-tech surveillance cameras in the city’s high-crime areas. He has organized a special “Fifth Tuesday” City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 29 devoted to a discussion of crime prevention.
On the economic development front, Crawford said he would focus on job creation with minimum taxation and regulation in order to create an environment for businesses to thrive. Citing his vote for Parkview Field, leadership on riverfront development and early advocacy for the Electric Works project, Crawford said that these large projects have made way for more private investment.
Crawford added that he won’t forget about neighborhood improvements such as sidewalks and alleys. In 2017, the City Council approved a local income tax increase for Allen County residents to fund neighborhood sidewalk and alley improvements and riverfront development.
During the news conference, Crawford emphasized his desire to unite the local Republican party and run a positive campaign.
“Republicans need to stay positive, avoiding negative attacks on each other so we will have the best chance to unify the party after the primary and retake the mayor’s office,” he said. “If I am fortunate enough to win the Republican primary, I will do everything possible to unite our party so we can win as a team.”
Democrat Mayor Tom Henry announced in July his intention to seek a fourth four-year term.