Fort Wayne, Ind (Indiana's NewsCenter)- A former Allen County council president earns the right to run for Mayor of Fort Wayne in the fall.
With all precincts reporting, Paula Hughes defeated four other candidates in the Republican Mayoral Primary in a runaway victory, claiming 56 percent of the vote, compared to 25 percent for city councilwoman Liz Brown, and 18 percent for businessman Eric Doden.
It was a surprising result, not because Hughes won, but the margin of victory was substantial, one week after a poll identified Liz Brown as the frontrunner.
Supporters at Ceruti's banquet hall Tuesday night chanted "Paula, Paula" as the party nominee led a procession to the stage for her victory speech.
Hughes embraced the fact that a poll from the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics showed her trailing Brown about ten days before the election was held.
Paula Hughes/(R) Ft. Wayne Mayoral Nominee: " Tomorrow, there are going to be people in this community that say, we're the underdog, but it's clear to me that that's where you and I thrive. The Henry Administration likes to spend money and they're not decisive. They're very secretive about how they lead, and I think it's pretty clear that people want a change."
Hughes’ supporters were in a great mood, but that wasn’t the case for Liz Brown and Eric Doden.
Both were undoubtedly disappointed with the outcome, but they were very complimentary of Hughes and philosophical about coming in second and third.
Liz Brown/(R) Ft. Wayne Mayoral Candidate: " We ran a really positive campaign, and you know what, I couldn't have asked anymore of my volunteers, but that's just the way the elections fall sometimes, and that's just fine."
Eric Doden/(R) Ft. Wayne Mayoral Candidate: " Life is partly a journey and this is a journey that we went on and my wife Maci and I are so proud to be here, and so proud to be a part of the Republican Party, and we wouldn't have done it any different."
There were concerns about the hotly contested primary causing a division in the party for the fall election.
But both Brown and Doden made points to say they will fully support Hughes in November.
There was some negative campaigning in this race, but it appears all is forgiven moving forward.
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