Two Candidates

By Jim Sack

Of the eight candidates running for four council seats two showed up at the Southwest Area Partnership, SWAP, meeting May 15, 2019.

Taylor Vanover is a young man in his early 20s who wants to take the Fifth District seat away from incumbent and longtime Democrat Party stalwart, Geoff Paddock. Taylor is running as a Republican. Beside him at the front of the dance hall at the SWAP was Glynn Hines, himself a pillar in the local Democrat Party and after two decades as councilman for the Sixth District he had decided to run for one of three “at-large” seats representing not a district, but the entire city.

Vanover is young and sincere, he said public safety and representing the neighborhoods of the district were among his highest priorities, as they should be.

Glynn was all high-energy and determination. The exact opposite of the neophyte Vanover, Glynn has the scars and a chest full of medals to commemorate his two decades on council, and an even longer period of service since childhood as a part of local politics on the east side. His message was plan, execute, evaluate and repeat. He added accountability and productivity as his two additional political rules to live by. To underscore his point, he pointed to his decades of frequent, regular and consistent meetings with neighborhood groups in his district, as well as his highly popular annual State of the Sixth District gala which is one of a kind in Fort Wayne politics and where he goes over the accomplishments of the previous tyear...and the frustrations. For his efforts the governor recently named him a Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana’s top honorific.

Taylor is just starting on his journey of public service and in that alone they couldn’t have been more different from each other. Their overlap was a “neighborhood first” policy for which each were enthusiastically applauded by the 50 attending neighborhood leaders.

Both are special individuals if only to put their names and reputations, and in Glynn’s case, his long record, on the line and open to scrutiny.

But Glynn’s story is even more compelling. A year ago it wasn’t a given that Glynn would be alive to run again in the 6th. His kidney was failing, he was on dialysis and he drug himself into each council meeting. Amazingly, his level of energy at the SWAP gathering was an180-turnaround. A year ago when time came to file for re-election Glynn decided to announce his retirement from local politics. Then, he won the lottery, he received a transplant that returned him to the lion of a man he had been for all his life. In the middle of his speech at the Sport Club the alarm on his phone sounded and he joked it was time for his pills. The crowd laughed with him. The kidney transplant was like water for a wilting plant and he filed to run at-large. The new Glynn Hines was full of spirit and drive in front of the neighborhood leaders at SWAP and deserves to be elected.

Both men, Vanover and Hines, have uphill battles for different reason, Hines’ experience and capability certainly qualifies him for another term representing us all. Vanover offers only hope and a willingness to serve, but he presents himself as intelligent and sincere. But Republican Vanover is running in a heavily Democrat district while Democrat Hines is running for one of three seats held exclusively by Republicans in a city that, except for mayor, leans Republican. Both have fights of their lives ahead.

Councilman Glynn Hines with Councilman RussJehl