FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- The Allen County council president gets a head start in the competition for Fort Wayne mayor.
Republican Paula Hughes on Tuesday officially declared her intention to run for mayor in 2011.
The kickoff event demonstrated she has strong support for her campaign.
At a business operated by her family in neighboring New Haven, Hughes was surrounded by at least 75 people, including family, friends and colleagues in local politics.
She told the gathering the city deserves better leadership than what it's getting from current Democrat Mayor Tom Henry.
She says her background in business and conservative approach to government are among her biggest assets.
Paula Hughes/(R) Ft. Wayne Mayoral Candidate: " Jobs is the foundation of the economy, we all know that, and it's time the government got out of the way and let those businesses succeed. That's when it's going to help create this new Fort Wayne. My campaign is about the betterment of Fort Wayne as a community, and we're rolling down that track. We've got the train in motion."
Hughes got in first, but she probably will have company in the race.
Henry is almost certainly going to run for re-election, though a formal announcement may not happen until after the mid-term elections.
Among republicans, Eric Doden, a political unknown whose family owns Ambassador Steel out of Auburn, is exploring a run.
We’re told he'll need to move to meet residency requirements, but that money will be no problem.
Republican City Council Woman Liz Brown reiterated she has not made up her mind about challenging for mayor, and says reports that the decision will come next week are unfounded.
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