Two Republicans filed for mayor of Fort Wayne today. That wasn't unexpected.
But a Democrat filed for the office, too. That was not expected by local Democratic officials. Mr. Fred Steinke, a resident of the West Central neighborhood, filed for mayor.
The News Sentinel headlined its story, "Unknown Democrat files for mayor."
The headline is amusing. While Mr. Steinke may not be known in political circles, no one is unknown to their friends, neighbors and family members.
Fort Wayne Observed talked with Mr. Steinke earlier this evening. He says he is in the race to the finish on primary election night and he "will not be deterred" from seeking the mayor's position. He described himself as "honest and aboveboard" and will use the platform the mayor's race affords him to talk about issues important to him.
Mr. Steinke wants to speak out on what he believes is a scourge of crime and drugs. He pointed out that West Central has been dealing with severe issues regarding drug houses in the neighborhood. He believes the community has more important issues than the smoking ban and opposes the idea of the downtown baseball stadium.
He is a longtime resident of Fort Wayne. He has been an activist on issues such as HIV/AIDS and has made numerous trips to Indianapolis to lobby on HIV/AIDS matters.
Mr. Steinke was featured in one of a series of portraits taken by Fort Wayne photographer John Gevers in his exhibit "Facing HIV/AIDS," which was recently on exhibit in California and was part of a CBS News documentary on the LOGO Channel. You may view Mr. Gevers' series on Flickr here.