What Comes Next? Paul Helmke Contemplates Future After Resigning From Gun Control Post

By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer

June 24, 2011 Updated Jun 24, 2011 at 5:26 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - A popular former Fort Wayne mayor is leaving a high profile post as a crusader against gun violence in the U.S.

It means a new direction in life for Paul Helmke.

It also marks the end of a five-year commitment by Helmke to a cause close to his heart.

It's not clear what actually does lie ahead for the man who spent 12 years running Fort Wayne city government from 1988 to 2000.

Most recently, Helmke has been president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

He was hired back in 2006 to promote the organization's mission to make the streets of the nation’s larger cities safer, by pursuing enhanced gun control legislation.

The five years are up July 10th, the very day that Helmke will step down as president.

Helmke indicates he’s worn down, and looking for a respite.

Paul Helmke/Leaving Gun Control Post: " Just the last six months, particularly since the Tucson shooting that injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, have really been exhausting. I need a little bit of a break. I've got two-year old grandchildren now, they're going to be visiting this summer, I'd like to be able to take some time off and see them. That's what I plan to do."

He says he's mulling options in Washington D.C. and back here in Fort Wayne.

He says he won't rule out something in politics, but he says it might be interesting to try something completely different too.

Helmke is sort of a unique animal in the political world.

He's a republican, but he’s considered to be moderate to liberal among many conservatives in the GOP.

The Brady organization actually endorsed Barack Obama in the last presidential election.

It reinforces that Helmke has a history of being able to work with folks on both sides of the aisle.




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