Home Part of States Newsroom
Brief
Indiana House Democrats leader running for mayoral vacancy in Fort Wayne

Share

Indiana House Democrats leader running for mayoral vacancy in Fort Wayne

Apr 03, 2024 | 3:45 pm ET
By Niki Kelly
Share
Indiana House Democrats leader running for mayoral vacancy in Fort Wayne
Description
Rep. Phil GiaQuinta is one of five candidates so far to announce they want to fill Fort Wayne's mayoral vacancy. (Monroe Bush for Indiana Capital Chronicle)

Rep. Phil GiaQuinta, who has led the Indiana House Democratic caucus since 2018, has added his name to a growing list of Fort Wayne politicos who want to be the city’s next mayor.

If he wins, it would set up a leadership contest for the caucus.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry died last week, just a few months into his fifth term. He was recently diagnosed with late-stage stomach cancer and experienced an emergency that landed him in hospice care. He died shortly after.

A caucus of precinct committee persons will choose the new mayor.

According to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, the deadline for residents to file candidacy is at 10:30 a.m. April 17. A town hall with the candidates is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 18 at Franklin School Park. The caucus is set for 10:30 a.m. April 20 at the Lincoln Financial Event Center at Parkview Field.

At least five candidates so far have announced they will run in the caucus. They include GiaQuinta, City Councilwoman Michelle Chambers, City Councilwoman Sharon Tucker, former city- and county-council candidate Palermo Galindo and 2023 Democratic primary mayoral candidate Jorge Fernandez.

GiaQuinta was born and raised in Fort Wayne and has served House District 80 since 2006. He succeeded his father, Rep. Ben GiaQuinta.

Earlier in his career, Phil GiaQuinta authored successful legislation that created the funding for the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board. The bill allowed for the board to use a portion of the revenue from county food and beverage taxes to fund new structures and renovate old ones, like the Electric Works project. This funding has helped to create many good paying jobs for the community.

While serving in the General Assembly, he has worked at Fort Wayne City Utilities as a customer account manager.