Sharon Tucker Elected as Fort Wayne's First Black Mayor in Democratic Caucus

Sharon Tucker, a Fort Wayne city councilwoman, was elected as the city's first Black and second female mayor, representing a significant milestone for the city and state.

author-image
Rafia Tasleem
Updated On
New Update
Sharon Tucker Elected as Fort Wayne's First Black Mayor in Democratic Caucus

Sharon Tucker Elected as Fort Wayne's First Black Mayor in Democratic Caucus

On April 20, 2024, Sharon Tucker, a Fort Wayne city councilwoman, was elected as the city's first Black and second female mayor in a Democratic caucus to replace the late Mayor Tom Henry, who died in March 2024 from stomach cancer. Tucker, a Democrat, was elected during the second round of voting in a caucus with seven mayoral candidates.

The mayor's office became vacant after Mayor Tom Henry, who was 72 years old, died in March from a medical emergency related to his stomach cancer. Tucker will serve the remainder of Henry's mayoral term, which runs through December 31, 2027. She is the first Black person and the second woman to serve as mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana's second most populous city.

Why this matters: Tucker's historic election as the first African American mayor of Fort Wayne represents a significant milestone for the city and the state of Indiana. Her victory highlights the growing diversity and representation in local politics and leadership positions.

Tucker's victory was secured with support from a majority of the 92 Allen County Democratic Party (ACDP) precinct chairs who participated in the caucus. She has a history of political involvement, having served as the county's 1st District Councilwoman since 2014 and becoming the first African American woman to hold the 6th District City Council seat in 2019. Tucker has also advocated initiatives to empower women in politics, including founding the 'Women in Politics Forum' in 2012.

During her acceptance speech, Tucker thanked the precinct committee chairs who voted in the caucus. She said her focus as mayor will be on continuing economic development downtown and in neighborhoods, and she plans to keep Karl Bandemer as her deputy mayor. Tucker also expressed her desire to honor Henry's legacy by maintaining a focus on economic development and creating a mayoral council on mental health.

The Indiana Democratic Party praised Tucker's historic win. Indiana Democratic Party Chair Mike Schmuhl stated, "Hoosier Democrats are Indiana's party of firsts, and we're proud to see Indiana's second largest city elect its first African American mayor, adding to the record number of Black mayors across the state."

Key Takeaways

  • Sharon Tucker elected as Fort Wayne's first Black and second female mayor.
  • Tucker won the Democratic caucus to replace late Mayor Tom Henry.
  • Tucker's victory represents a significant milestone for Fort Wayne and Indiana.
  • Tucker plans to focus on economic development and mental health initiatives.
  • Indiana Democrats praise Tucker's historic win as the state's first Black mayor.