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2011 primaries — a walk on the mild side


Fort Wayne Reader


Ahhh, the unbridled enthusiasm of political primaries! Almost 13% of eligible voters cast a ballot on May 3!

Actually, primaries rarely have great turn out, so the low numbers — supposedly the second-lowest turnout in 20 years — weren’t that surprising. And the results weren’t that surprising, either. Perhaps the closest the results got to even being in the neighborhood of what might be called surprising was Paula Hughes clinching the Republican nomination with nearly 56% of the vote.

A poll by the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics released the week before the election showed Fort Wayne City Councilwoman Liz Brown leading the pack of five Republican mayoral contenders with 41.3%, and Hughes a close second with 34.6%. Political geeks hoped for… well, a nail-biter was too much to expect, but it at least seemed like things were going to be a little closer than they turned out to be. In the end, however, Hughes garnered more than twice the votes of Brown.

But ironically, Liz Brown may have been responsible for the most interesting item of news primary day…

Some explain’ to do?

During a brief interview with INC taken outside a polling station, Brown mentioned she had a “scoop” that the Harrison Square project was once again stalled. “We've been hearing rumors that the Harrison Project isn't gonna go through and you know, he (Mayor Henry) had a big fanfare for that. That's going to be a real disappointment and he'll have to do some explaining,” Brown told INC.

Despite some other local political personalities insisting they know what Brown knows, no real details have been forthcoming… though Mayor Henry’s response to INC was hardly the note of confidence supporters of the project would like to hear.

Mayor Henry said he is an "enthusiastic advocate for downtown,” and added that he’s "eager to celebrate the next step in its development," but they're taking "cues from the private-sector development team.”

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