"No" To Abortion & "No" To Casinos

By Maureen Mespell
By John W. Davis

March 31, 2011 Updated Oct 22, 2013 at 1:04 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- Eight Fort Wayne Mayoral Candidates debated abortion, gambling and additional gay and transgendered rights Thursday night at Concordia High School.

Between 75 to 100 people attended the Social Issues Mayoral Forum which was held Thursday Night in the Auditorium at Concordia High School.

"I want them to be informed. I want them to be innovative. I want them to consider what the people of Fort Wayne hold as their values," said Undecided Fort Wayne Voter Gary Dienelt.

Eight candidates participated in the forum, Republicans Terrence Walker, Paula Hughes, Eric Doden, Fred Osheskie, Liz Brown and Democrats Tom Cook, Fredrick Steinke, and Charles Eberhard.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, who is running for reelection, was invited, but did not attend Thursday night's mayoral forum.

Democratic Candidate David Roach told Indiana's NewsCenter via email that he boycotted the forum.

The forum was moderated by Indiana's NewsCenter Morning Show Co-Anchor / Consumer Reporter Ryan Elijah.

Most questions about the forum revolved around casinos, abortion and family issues, relating to marriage and gay and transgendered rights.

The overwhelming message from Thursday's night forum was "no".

"No" to casinos, abortion and additional gay and transgendered rights.

On the issue of casinos, most of the candidates, including Republican front runners Liz Brown, Paula Hughes and Eric Doden agreed that casinos would be bad for Fort Wayne.

One of their reasons, casinos are a moral issue that doesn't sit well with their constituents in our community.

Hughes continued that sentiment when she said, casinos are another form of taxation that would prey on Fort Wayne/Allen County residents.


Abortion was also a hot topic at the forum.

Democrats Tom Cook and Fredrick Steinke told the crowd they believed abortion was a woman's choice.

Democrat Charles Eberhard and Republicans Terrence Walker, Paula Hughes, Eric Doden, Fred Osheskie, Liz Brown all said they are anti-abortion.

Meanwhile, mayoral candidates remained civil, which was highlighted by Republican Candidate Paula Hughes saying "she couldn't believe it" but she agreed with Republican Candidate Liz Brown that a Republican Fort Wayne Mayor should lobby state lawmakers and stand up for the pro-life movement.

The event was co-sponsored by Allen County Right To Life, which focused on abortion issues, The Coalition For A Better Fort Wayne, which focused on casino issues, and Indiana Family Institute, which focused on marriage and gay and transgendered issues.

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