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  • Steve McMichael speaks Tuesday night at Allen County Republican Headquarters in downtown Fort Wayne. McMichael won the New Haven mayoral race over Democrat Darren Peterson. (Rachel Von Stroup | The Journal Gazette)

Wednesday, November 06, 2019 1:00 am

New Haven

McMichael leads GOP winners

ROSA SALTER RODRIGUEZ | The Journal Gazette

New Haven has a new mayor in Republican Steve McMichael and a reconfigured City Council that remains entirely Republican.

McMichael, a Realtor and council president from District 5, posted a 2-to-1 margin of victory Tuesday over Democrat Darren Peterson, a longtime New Haven police and school resource officer.

McMichael took 1,797 votes to Peterson's 949.

In New Haven's three contested council races, incumbent Republicans Floyd Ball in District 1 and Craig Dellinger in District 3 and newcomer Michael Mowery in District 4 easily defeated Democratic challengers, all first-time candidates.

McMichael said he's excited to become only the seventh mayor in New Haven history. 

“We're looking forward to building on the vision of (outgoing mayor) Terry McDonald,” McMichael said, mentioning economic development as a goal.

He said the campaign was “a long process,” and he's glad to see it end with a win.

McMichael, of Re/Max Imagine Real Estate, got an early jump on campaigning, announcing his candidacy last year by issuing a multipoint platform stressing relief from high water and sewer rates.

McMichael also racked up endorsements from community notables and a half-dozen other political figures, including U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, and McDonald, who retired. 

McMichael also outraised his opponent by a margin of 10-1.

Peterson, who received support from unions, congratulated his campaign team of Roger and Soni Clayton, Ina Scott and Herb Baatz.

“They worked really hard over the last four months,” Peterson said.

He expressed confidence McMichael would do his best for the residents of New Haven. “I look forward to helping him however I can,” he said.  

In the council races, the margin of victory for Ball was about 2-1, while the other council candidates won by margins of about 3-1.

Ball took 411 votes to first-time candidate Jessica Hannie's 221. Dellinger received 516 votes compared with Democrat Frank Sickles' 165.

Mowery, who defeated longtime GOP Councilman Robert Byrd in the May primary, had 391 votes to first-time Democratic candidate Tiffany McFadden's 141.

They will be joined on the council by two incumbent at-large Republicans, Dave Cheviron and Terry Werling, and Republicans Jeff Turner of District 2 and Matthew Kennedy of District 5. All ran unopposed.

rsalter@jg.net