The Journal Gazette
Sunday, September 08, 2019 1:00 am

Mitchell makes official run for Brooks' seat

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

About a week after filing her candidacy, state Treasurer Kelly Mitchell formally announced she will seek the Republican nomination for the 5th Congressional District.

Mitchell becomes the seventh person – three Republicans and four Democrats – to launch a campaign to replace four-term Rep. Susan Brooks, a Fort Wayne native. Brooks is not seeking re-election in 2020. The 5th District includes Hamilton, Madison, Grant, Tipton and parts of four other counties.

The Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball list the district as leaning Republican, while Nate Gonzales' Inside Elections rates it as likely Republican.

Mitchell said in a campaign video released Wednesday that the American Dream “is under constant attack from the radical left.” She said her beliefs include: “Secure the border and do it now! Don't blink when it comes to China or Russia. Defend the unborn. Protect the Second Amendment. Respect the flag and show gratitude to those who have defended it.”

Mitchell was elected state treasurer in 2014 and re-elected in 2018.

Online voter guide

The Fort Wayne Area League of Women Voters announced it will post to the answers that municipal election candidates in Fort Wayne and New Haven provide to the organization's questions for its 2019 Voter Guide. is a nonpartisan national website for information on election ballots, polling places, voter registration, debates, forums and other election-related resources. The website, which is maintained by the League of Women Voters Education Fund, can be accessed by entering a local address.

The Fort Wayne chapter said it is asking candidates to identify their priority issues and how they would address them; how they would balance economic development and the needs of low-income citizens; how they would engage citizens and understand citizens' issues, particularly those of people who are not of a candidate's party affiliation; and how they educate themselves about issues.

Their answers will be posted to in late September. They also will be available at

Fort Wayne voters will chose a mayor, a city clerk and nine City Council members in the Nov. 5 general election. New Haven voters will elect a mayor, a clerk-treasurer and seven council members.

Holcomb staffers are announced

The Eric Holcomb for Indiana campaign announced top members of its re-election campaign team last week.

They include Joe Elsener as deputy campaign manager and political director; Mindy Colbert as finance director and Matt Huckleby as deputy campaign manager. Each member of Gov. Holcomb's senior staff is returning to the campaign after working on his 106-day campaign in 2016.

Additional staffing announcements will follow in the coming weeks.

Candidates and ice cream

The Westwood-Fairway and Wildwood Park neighborhoods will host the bipartisan Meet the Candidates Ice Cream Social from 3:30 to 5 p.m. today in Wildwood Park's Park at the Point in southwest Fort Wayne.

Candidates for Fort Wayne City Council's at-large, 4th District and 5th District seats have been invited to answer questions from attendees.

Ice cream and soft drinks will be available and a tent will be provided at the park at North and South Washington roads south of West Jefferson Boulevard.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at or Niki Kelly at An expanded Political Notebook can be found as a daily blog at

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