Video and text of yesterday’s announcement by Republican Eric Doden that he will seek the office of Mayor of the City of Fort Wayne in the May primary election.
Doden was introduced by Allen County Recorder John McGauley.
Doden then took to the dais to make his announcement.
Text of his remarks:
Eric Doden campaign announcement – complete remarks
Good morning, and thank you all for being here today.
In 1998, my wife Maci and I married and purchased our first home in Fort Wayne in the Lakes of Buckingham. We began our life together and, over the next 12 years, our four children were born in this city. Fort Wayne is our home. We love this community, we love its people, we love the opportunity it has offered our family. It is because we love Fort Wayne that we are spurred to action.
Today, we assemble in downtown Fort Wayne, the heart of the city near where many of our innovative ancestors lived and worked. We launch this effort at Republican Headquarters because the future of our city and our community demands that our next mayor be a Republican mayor. A mayor who will return fiscal stewardship, excitement, transparency, and innovation to City Hall.
I’ve spent the past six months meeting with and listening to the residents of Fort Wayne. More than 200 individual meetings, with men and women from all walks of life. And while those meetings will continue as a cornerstone of my campaign, it is clear today that there is a desire and consensus for change.
The citizens of this community – our friends, our family members, our neighbors – know Fort Wayne isn’t achieving its full potential.
Once, Fort Wayne was a center of innovation and entrepreneurship. Today, while our community has much strength, economists too often describe Fort Wayne as a If Rust Belt” city. This doesn’t have to be our destiny. With strong leadership that engages community leaders, civic institutions, and all the residents of our city and a bold plan for reform and revitalization, Fort Wayne can experience an economic revitalization.
That is why today, I announce my candidacy for mayor of Fort Wayne. I do so with an unbending desire to see Fort Wayne reach its full potential as a community and with the help of hundreds of citizens, like you, I offer a bold vision for our city’s future:
1. Jobs, local wages and innovation
- Fort Wayne must once again be what it has been – a city of innovation. We will leverage our economic strengths: health care, finance, defense, logistics and life science industries. And we will capitalize on our unique geographic position to create and attract high-paying jobs.
- We must set a goal to create an environment that will attract and cluster 1,000 entrepreneurs over the next eight years in Fort Wayne. We will measure the number of businesses that they start, the number of people they employ, and the average wage of their workers.
- Our stated goal will be to increase our average wage over the next four years and make significant gains toward reaching the national average.
2. Improve our quality of life that will attract and retain young entrepreneurs and long-term businesses.
- We have a plan to work with our banking community and private equity investors to complete $100 million worth of new projects in Fort Wayne over the next four years without increasing government spending or raising taxes. By properly leveraging the light lease fund, our community can finance projects that improve our city, create good-paying jobs and increase our tax base and quality of life.
- Because a great work force isn’t possible without great schools, I intend to work with our K-12 educational leaders and legislative team to make sure that we are providing the best educational opportunities possible.
- I will work with our civic leaders to improve the health and welfare of our families based on the philosophy that healthy families, emotionally and physically, lead to strong economic development because they are a more desired and productive work force.
3. Make city government work. Our goals aren’t attainable without leadership and innovation.
- We have a plan to streamline processes and increase customer service.
- On our first day in office, we’ll declare Fort Wayne ‘open for business.’
- It is time for city and county officials to work together with one unified goal to make Fort Wayne a city of opportunity again byÂ removing the barriers of excessive government regulation.
- These three themes require leadership. They require that we expect more from our mayor and city officials than we ever have. As such, I want you to expect more from me.
These themes also require a specific skill set. As such, the four key skills that I bring to this race are:
- Executive experience and an entrepreneurial spirit. I understand how to manage large operations, and I know how to bring the key players together to accomplish the deals that will enhance our city.
- The ability to sell that which I believe in – and I believe in the people of Fort Wayne. As mayor, I’ll be the chief marketing officer of this community. Our city’s strengths will be a secret to none. We’ll brand our community as the center for opportunity and innovation we know it can be.
- The ability to execute and the tenacity to get things done.
- A love of coaching people to higher levels of performance. A desire to inspire others to meet their goals and dreams.
My key objective is to make Fort Wayne one of the best cities in the Midwest. We have the people, the talent, the location and the physical assets to make that happen. I believe, as you do, that Fort Wayne’s best days are yet to come. But only if we all work together. So I ask you to join me. I ask you to step up and expect more from your leaders. I ask you to ask questions regarding the plan and make it happen with me. Together, with each of you as part of the team, we will reach our full potential.
I’m Eric Doden. And I want to be your mayor.