FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) – The CEO and founder of Sweetwater Sound has formally endorsed Democrat Tom Henry in the November mayoral election.
Chuck Surack is featured in a new political ad, backing the three-term incumbent over Republican challenger Tim Smith.
The ad includes copy that reads, “As a long-time resident and businessman, I’ve seen Fort Wayne’s phenomenal growth under Mayor Henry’s leadership… Fort Wayne is once again a great place for young families to live, work and play.”
Surack says he typically is not political, and as a rule, does not favor one candidate over another in a mayor’s contest like this one.
But Surack tells us he made an exception this time.
“I specifically went to Tom and told him I wanted to support him, and I wanted him to win. I look at things like Promenade Park, and The Landing, and the Ash building, and all the building stuff that’s happened at the ballpark over the past several years. I just know that we want more of that in our community, and what’s good for our downtown is good for our whole city and our whole region,” Surack said.
Mayor Henry was unavailable to comment due to a death in the family.
We did get a chance to ask Tim Smith about the endorsement.
“I don’t know what went through Chuck’s mind, I know that he and Tom have been friends for a long time. I like Chuck, tremendous respect for Chuck, one of the best businesses in Fort Wayne. I’m looking forward to help Chuck grow that business even further and faster after I’m mayor,” Smith said.
We showed the ad to Tyhria Williams, a Henry backer.
“I think Chuck Surack is a very big icon here. Mayor Henry is already my guy, but I think for anybody that doesn’t have the same opinion as I do, that ad would really make them interested, and make them want to see what Mayor Henry is all about,” Williams said.
But when we played the ad for Davis Dean, who lives in town, his view of the value of Surack’s endorsement to Henry was much different.
“He’s (Surack) a multi-millionaire, somebody who is obviously backing a friend. I don’t know what, if anything, he is getting in return for it. It doesn’t affect me one way or another,” Dean said.
The mayoral election will be held Tuesday, November 5th.
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