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1999 South Bend, Indiana mayoral election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1999 South Bend mayoral election
← 1995 November 2, 1999 2003 →
Mayor steve luecke (1).jpg
No image.svg
Nominee Steve Luecke Steven Bradley
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 13,678 6,321
Percentage 68.39% 31.61%

Mayor before election

Steve Luecke

Elected Mayor

Steve Luecke

The 1999 South Bend, Indiana mayoral election was held on November 2, 1999. Incumbent mayor Steve Luecke, who had become mayor after his predecessor Joe Kernan became Lieutenant Governor of Indiana, was reelected to a first full-term (and second overall term).

Luecke faced Republican challenger Steven Bradley.[1]


Democratic primary

During the Democratic primary Luecke was challenged by Portage Township Assessor John Voorde as well as Kevin C. Horton and Zbigniew "Ziggy" Borowski.[2]

Voorde arose as the most significant challenger to Luecke.[2] Voorde was the son of past mayor Edward F. Voorde,[3][4] who had served from 1956 until his death in office in 1960.[3]

By April, polls reportedly showed Luecke with a double-digit lead over Voorde.[2]

Democratic primary results[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Stephen J. Luecke (incumbent) 8,265 61.49
Democratic John Voorde 4,214 31.35
Democratic Kevin C. Horton 855 6.36
Democratic Zbigniew "Ziggy" Borowski 108 0.80
Total votes 13,442 100

Republican primary

Steve Bradley defeated Melvin Townsend in the Republican primary.[2]

Republican primary results[6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Steven Clark Bradley 1,195 81.18
Republican Marvin Townsend 277 18.82
Total votes 1,472 100

General election

During the election campaign, Bradley criticized Luecke's record on public safety.[1] Bradley used FBI statistics to claim that New York City was safer than South Bend in regards to violent crime.[1] However, Luecke accused Bradley of distorting statistics, accusing Bradley of being "incorrigible" and using a Richard Nixon-style campaign tactic of distributing falsehoods.[1]

Bradley criticized Luecke for taking what he argued was too long to appoint a new police chief after South Bend's previous police chief resigned after being charged with a DUI, stating, It's time for the mayor to act like a mayor and show some leadership," and declaring that the South Bend Police Department had been left "rudderless".[7]

Bradley proposed a business incentive development plan.[7]

Bradley placed emphasis on the city's loss of 1,000 jobs at AMGeneral and South Bend Stamping.[7]

Bradley attacked Luecke for having been a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War.[8]

Bradley ran a billboard which read "My girlfriend said it's either her or south bend. My girlfriend is gone. For me it's South Bend".[8] This billboard was speculated to be one of the reasons Bradley would be shown to poll poorly among women voters.[8]

Ahead of the election, polls showed Luecke to be in the lead.[1] A poll conducted October 13-15 by Howey Political Report found Luecke leading 51 to 32 (with 17% of respondents being "undecided") with a +/-5.2 margin.[2][8] A similarly-timed South Bend Tribune poll found Luecke to have a 14-point lead.[8] Additionally, South Bend was considered to be a strongly Demcoratic city.[1] A Republican had not been elected mayor of the city since Loyd Allen his second term in 1967.[9][10]

Turnout in the election was 31%.[11]

General election results[12]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Stephen J. Luecke (incumbent) 13,678 68.39
Republican Steven Bradley 6,321 31.61
Total votes 19,999 100


  1. ^ a b c d e f Smith, Mike (October 31, 1999). "Mayoral races dominate many Hoosier decisions". Anderson Herald Bulletin. Associated Press. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Indiana Racing Form INDIANA MAYORAL RACES 1999" (PDF). The Howey Political Report. 5 (30). April 15, 1999. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Behind the Name: A local political legacy". South Bend Tribune. November 9, 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  4. ^ Bell, Kyle W. (December 16, 2014). "Voorde Announces Bid for South Bend Common Council, Endorses Fowler for City Clerk". South Bend Voice. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  5. ^ "Democratic Primary Mayoral Elections South Bend". Indiana Secretary of State. July 21, 1999. Archived from the original on May 19, 2009. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  6. ^ "Republican Primary Mayoral Elections South Bend". Indiana Secretary of State. July 21, 1999. Archived from the original on May 19, 2009. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "Indiana Racing Form INDIANA MAYORAL RACES 1999" (PDF). The Howey Political Report. 5 (41). July 22, 1999. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Leucke's lead is big" (PDF). The Howey Political Report. 6 (10). October 21, 1999. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  9. ^ Cowell, Jack (December 4, 2014). "Jack Colwell: Sizing up South Bend, Mishawaka mayoral races". Howey Politics. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  10. ^ Jack, Colwell (September 1, 2011). "2 cities, 2 mayor trends" (PDF). Howey Politics Indiana. 17 (4). Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  11. ^ "INDIANA MAYORAL ELECTIONS 1999 SOUTH BEND". Indiana Secretary of State. Archived from the original on June 18, 2009. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  12. ^ "Indiana 2003 Racing Form Indiana 2003 Mayoral Races" (PDF). The Howey Political Report. 9 (26). February 27, 2003. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
This page was last edited on 9 January 2021, at 15:42
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