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Conservative Street Cred

By PA

Fort Wayne Reader

2007-04-10


With the May primary less than a month away, local candidates for public office are picking up the pace. That means collecting and capitalizing on key endorsements. In the high-profile GOP primary contest for the Fort Wayne mayor’s office, Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters and architect Matt Kelty are hoping that their respective endorsements solidify their conservative credentials.

Matt “This Elephant Will Never Forget” Kelty, who has staked his campaign on positioning himself as the conservative choice for local Republicans, received the blessing of the Allen County Right to Life Political Action Committee. Although ACRL PAC spokesperson Cathie Humbarger said the decision to endorse Kelty over Peters was a “difficult choice,” she says Kelty got the nod due to his long support of Right to Life activities in the community.

“Matt is a part of the pro-life family here in Fort Wayne,” Humbarger stated. “He has supported ACRL and the pro-life community in Fort Wayne with his time and talent over the years.”

It probably didn’t hurt either that Kelty Campaign press secretary and political strategist Christopher Mann once served as executive vice-president of Indiana Right to Life and director of its PAC.

“It is certainly an honor to be recognized by your friends,” said Kelty. “I am pleased to be associated with one of the most effective organizations in Indiana advocating for life issues and defending life.”

Not to be outdone, Nelson Peters nabbed what might be considered the Holy Grail of conservative endorsements. Uber-conservative U.S. Congressman Mark Souder is throwing his support behind the Peters for Mayor campaign. In a mailing being distributed throughout the city, Rep. Souder calls Peters “a rock-solid leader on conservative issues” and calls a vote for Peters “a vote for leadership on family issues.”

Milking it for all its conservative worth, Peters responded, “I am humbled and honored by Mr. Souder’s support. There is no member of Congress that represents conservative and family values better than our Congressman.”

Peters also picked up the backing of The Home Builders Association of Fort Wayne, a not-for-profit trade organization that is associated with the National Association of Home Builders and the Indiana Builders Association.

HARRISON SQUARING OFF
Fort Wayne City Councilmembers are expected to vote on downtown’s proposed Harrison Square project in the next few weeks. The project, which would be funded by public and private dollars, includes a new hotel, condos, retail shops and a baseball stadium. As it stands right now, of the council’s nine members, two are solidly for the project, two are solidly against,three are leaning for, one is leaning against, and one is anybody’s guess.

In the meantime, the board of the Embassy Theatre Foundation, Inc., unanimously voted to endorse the Harrison Square project. The development would be neighbors with the Embassy Theatre. The Embassy’s board of directors and staff said they support the Harrison Square proposal because it will create renewed interest in downtown development, draw additional people to the area and provide the Embassy with new opportunities for program growth and building development.

Following the results of a Zogby International poll showing a majority of Fort Wayne residents skeptical of the downtown development plan, Mayoral hopeful Matt Kelty reiterated his opposition to the Harrison Square initiative.

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