Our very own Sharon Tucker beats her incumbent in the Allen County Council District 1 election.

Tucker bests incumbent in narrow margin

Vivian Sade | The Journal Gazette

In a nail-biting race for Allen County Council District 1, Democrat Sharon Tucker was ahead, fell behind and then pulled to the front at the finish line.


“I'm so excited,” Tucker said, upon learning that unofficial final tallies showed she had defeated incumbent Republican Kevin Howell by 553 votes.


“We were worried when we took a dive early on, but we continued to ride the course and waited until all the votes were in,” Tucker said.


The 42-year-old will be the only Democrat and the only woman on the seven-member council.


Her campaign was a mixture of good old-fashioned grass-roots efforts mixed with modern social media, Tucker said, crediting her success to a hard-working campaign team.


“We started knocking on doors in July, then sent out mailers, used social media, and in the last week made a lot of phone calls urging people to get out and vote,” Tucker said.


Tucker is the manager of 1st Source Insurance and an assistant minister at New Joshua Missionary Baptist Church.


Kevin Howell has served four years on the council after beating incumbent Democrat Maye Johnson by just 29 votes in 2010.


Both Tucker and Howell had been vocal in their opposition to the single county executive initiative, saying voters would lose representation.


Three other council members were elected Tuesday, including newcomer and Republican Joel Benz in District 3.


Benz beat Democratic challenger Susan Hoot 12,983 to 6,823 in the race for the council seat held by Darren Vogt, who is not seeking re-election.


“I am a paramedic and I take care of people and I see this as an extension of that,” Benz said. “I am grateful to my team and in the confidence of the people of Allen County and I look forward to serving them.”


Benz, 34, is the owner of Heritage Property Management and a paramedic for Parkview Samaritan and Three Rivers Ambulance Authority.


The 34-year-old finished his MBA at the University of Saint Francis this spring and as a councilman, said he would stress fiscal responsibility.


In District 4, Republican Larry Brown, 65, will retain his seat on the council after defeating Democrat Austin Carpenter by about 28 percentage points. Brown garnered 12,205 votes while Carpenter had 6,811 votes.


Brown has been on the Allen County Council six years. Before that he served six years on the Wells County Council and eight years on the Ossian Town Council. He is the co-owner of Advanced Mechanical Services in Fort Wayne.


Brown said the biggest issue facing the council in the next four years is declining revenue and increasing expenses.


The council must continue to find less expensive ways to provide necessary services, he said.


Republican Tom Harris was unopposed in District 2, and will retain the seat he won in 2010.


Council members are paid $15,785 annually and also eligible to receive retirement and health insurance benefits.




Last updated: November 5, 2014 4:42 a.m.
Allen County Council District 1