Fort Wayne, Indiana is a growing city that many people have recently been moving to, but what are the political beliefs of the residents? Is Fort Wayne, Indiana a conservative city?
Fort Wayne, Indiana is a conservative city because of the predominantly Republican state government, the extremely relaxed gun laws, and low tax rates. Despite the democratic local government, Fort Wayne, Indiana has managed to maintain conservative ideals.
Below is information about the voting history of the residents of Fort Wayne as well as information about various laws that will help you determine exactly why this city is considered conservative.
Since the first presidential election, Indiana has been almost exclusively a Republican state. Voting only a handful of times for the Democratic candidate. This can be seen since the election of 1940. Since then Indiana has only voted for the Democratic candidate in 2 of the 21 elections.
Indiana has held on to their strong conservative values and stayed close to the Republican party throughout the years. Because of the strong political values in the state, government leaders have also done their best to help keep growing the state in a conservative way.
Paying taxes is something that everyone faces throughout their entire lives. However, tax rates can vary from state to state. Even moving from county to county can impact the various tax rates you may face. However, in Allen County Indiana, Fort Wayne has a combined tax rate that is dramatically lower than the national average.
In Fort Wayne, the combined tax rate is 7%. This is broken down into 7% for state tax, 0% for county tax, and 0% for Fort Wayne City Tax.
Focusing on the Income tax levels, the Legislative Synopsis for the state of Indiana states,
“Lowers the individual income tax rate from 3.23% to 3.15% for tax years 2023 and 2024. Lowers the individual income tax rate further in stages contingent on state revenue growth reviewed in July of each even-numbered year. The minimum the individual income tax rate can reach is 2.9%.”
Mayor Henry, the current mayor of Fort Wayne, has been pushing for a slight increase in income tax since his election. However, this proposal was met with heavy opposition.
State and Local Government
Beyond the offices of mayor and governor, the state of Indiana has The House of Representatives and the Senate to help keep things in line. The Indiana House of Representatives has 100 members. This can be broken down into 71 members of the Republican party and 29 members of the Democratic party.
The current Speaker of the House is Todd Huston of the Republican party with Majority Leader Matthew Lehman (R), and Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D).
The state of Indiana also has 50 members in the state senate. This is broken down into 39 members of the Republican party and 11 members of the Democratic party. The current President of the Senate is Suzanne Crouch of the Republican party with Majority Leader Mark Messmer (R), and Minority Leader Timothy Lanane (D).
Born and raised in the city of Fort Wayne, current Mayor Tom Henry has a true passion for serving his community. After being raised in a strong Catholic household, Henry attended a Catholic high school and then continued his education at the University of Saint Francis, a Catholic University in Fort Wayne.
During his schooling, Mayor Henry was also able to spend his time serving in the United States Army Military Police Corps. Prior to being elected as mayor, Mayor Henry spent a lot of time serving the public. Tom Henry was an active part of Fort Wayne’s City Council from 1983-2003.
Since being elected as the Democratic Mayor in 2008, Mayor Henry has brought Fort Wayne a large amount of success and growth. Mayor Henry has implemented several infrastructural improvements in the cities and neighborhoods. He also has created increased funding for our safety officers in the Police and Fire Departments. He has also created and retained thousands of jobs for those living in Fort Wayne. While doing this, Mayor Henry has focused on the following:
- Economic development opportunities
- Neighborhood infrastructure improvements
- Public safety
Winning by the most recorded votes in Indiana history in 2020, Eric Holcomb was voted in for his second term after first being elected as the Republican candidate for governor in 2016. Another life-long Indiana resident, Governor Holcomb has helped grow Indiana as no other Governor has. Governor Holcomb’s mission is to help Indiana compete in the world by “bringing the world to Indiana and taking Indiana to the world”.
In order to do this, Governor Holcomb has put Indiana on the map by creating new lines of nonstop international travel set out from their very own Indiana International Airport. Governor Holcomb has helped create thousands of more jobs for individuals. Especially in his creation of “Skillful Indiana”, which is a program to help incarcerated individuals learn important and necessary skills to help them turn their life around and get out into the workforce.
When introducing his plan for 2022, Governor Holcomb highlighted these 5 priorities:
- Economic development
- Training and workforce development
- Public health and wellness development
- Community development
- Good government service
In the state of Indiana, gun laws have become more flexible over the years. On July 2, 2022, the state of Indiana released a statement clarifying gun laws and reinstating existing policies. The statement read,
“The State of Indiana will no longer require a handgun permit to legally carry, conceal or transport a handgun within the state. This law DOES NOT allow everyone to carry a handgun as Indiana law contains certain criteria which must be met for a person to legally carry within the state.”
This means that Indiana is getting rid of any kind of license and registration required to own and operate a firearm. While there are still certain requirements that need to be met, open carry and concealed carry laws are now more flexible.
When purchasing a handgun, individuals must be at least 18 years of age or older and residents of Indiana or of neighboring states near Indiana. This age and residency policy extends to the purchase of handguns as well as long guns. In order to carry these weapons, there are no longer restrictions that prohibit anyone from openly carrying or conceal carrying their weapons.
While the policies are more flexible, there are still certain restrictions that prohibit certain individuals from carrying a firearm. If it is unclear as to if you fall into one of those categories, local police departments can help clarify the policy. Police officers are also able to issue permits for those individuals that may need a permit for precautionary purposes.
Religion can have a big impact on a community. It can provide friends, connection, and unity among the people around you. Religion often falls closer to the conservative side of things when it comes to politics. Conservatives typically have a more traditional way of viewing things and push family-focused values. However, Indiana has a religious rate that is 5% lower than the national average. Indiana has a religious population of just over 44%.
While this percentage may not be as high as some other cities in the US, 44% still contributes to increasing the conservative perspective in Indiana. Fort Wayne has a religious population that is 10% higher than that of the states. Fort Wayne has a 54.5% religious rate. This alone encourages the city to lean more toward the right side of things politically.
In Fort Wayne, Indiana the Catholic church makes up over 16% of the religious population. The Catholic church is oftentimes more popular the further you get in the country. When our country was just starting out, almost all of the settlers coming from Europe practiced catholicism. This has carried over into many family homes today. Even Mayor Tom Henry of Fort Wayne has been a devout Catholic member for his entire life.
The Catholic church believes strongly in the life of Christ and his sacred sacrifice for mankind. Catholic worship services last around 45 minutes-1 hour and are held every Sunday at any of the local meetinghouses. Catholic services include holy prayer, sacred scripture study, and the Eucharist (sacrament). Each of these help to increase spirituality and the influence of God in the lives of members.
The Lutheran church is the second most popular religion found in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Lutheran church makes up just over 9% of the remaining religious population in Fort Wayne. The Lutheran church has over 20 chapels in the Fort Wayne area and provides worship services every Sunday.
Lutheran church services last for about 1 hour-1 hour 30 minutes each week and include singing songs of praise, prayers, and reading special scripture. Lutheran doctrine follows the teachings of Christ and the desire to be saved. Lutherans believe that in order to be saved they need to exercise faith and that God will save them from their sins. Services each week try to help its members grow closer to God and feel his love for them.