Sharon Tucker Sworn In as Fort Wayne's First Black Mayor

Sharon Tucker becomes Fort Wayne's first Black mayor, succeeding the late Mayor Tom Henry. She brings extensive community involvement and a commitment to serving the city's diverse communities.

author-image
Waqas Arain
New Update
Sharon Tucker Sworn In as Fort Wayne's First Black Mayor

Sharon Tucker Sworn In as Fort Wayne's First Black Mayor

Sharon Tucker made history on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, as she was sworn in as the new mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, becoming the city's first Black mayor. Tucker, a Democrat, succeeds the late Mayor Tom Henry, who passed away from stomach cancer on March 28, 2023.

Prior to her election as mayor, Tucker served as a member of the Fort Wayne City Council, representing the 6th District since 2020. She was the first Black woman to hold that position. Tucker also made history in 2014 when she was elected as the 1st District Councilwoman on the Allen County Council, becoming the first Black woman to serve in that role as well.

Tucker won the Democratic caucus on April 20, 2024, beating out six other candidates to fill the remainder of Henry's mayoral term, which runs through December 31, 2027. During the swearing-in ceremony, Tucker also swore in Karl Bandemer as her deputy mayor, a position he had held since 2013 under Mayor Henry.

Why this matters: Sharon Tucker's historic election as Fort Wayne's first Black mayor represents a significant milestone for the city and reflects the growing diversity in political leadership across the United States. Her extensive background in community engagement and previous experience on the City Council and County Council position her well to lead Indiana's second-most populous city.

In her remarks, Tucker praised Henry's leadership and pledged to build upon the city's progress while adding her own "flavor" to the role. She emphasized the importance of listening to the community and including young people in the city's decision-making processes.

Tucker's extensive community involvement includes serving as a member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, AVOW (Advancing Voices of Women), and the NAACP. She has also volunteered on the boards of the Allen County Public Library, Alliance Health Clinic, and SEED. In 2021, Tucker founded and launched Project Activate SouthEast Fort Wayne (P.A.S.E.), an entrepreneurial training and pitch competition.

The Henry family expressed their support and confidence in Tucker's leadership, stating that they look forward to watching her grow Tom Henry's initiatives while forging her own path for Fort Wayne. As Tucker assumes the role of mayor, she brings with her a wealth of experience and a commitment to serving the diverse communities of Fort Wayne.

Key Takeaways

  • Sharon Tucker sworn in as Fort Wayne's first Black mayor on April 23, 2024.
  • Tucker previously served on Fort Wayne City Council and Allen County Council.
  • Tucker won the Democratic caucus, beating out six other candidates for the mayoral role.
  • Tucker pledges to build on city's progress and include community in decision-making.
  • Tucker brings extensive experience in community engagement and entrepreneurship.