South Bend’s 5th District covers the southeastern part of the city. Find a map of all the city’s districts at www.southbendtribune.com/elections.
Democrat: Debbie Tezich
-- 59 years old
-- Registered nurse for 35 years, left position in May
-- Associate’s degree in nursing, Purdue University
-- First time seeking political office
-- On Facebook as Debbie Tezich
“Our most urgent need is to create a broader base for job creation,” Tezich said, “to encourage both the small businesses and entrepreneurial startups that can pay off as they expand market base, and the larger, more mature industries and businesses that will dominate the 21st century with biotechnology and production and manufacturing breakthroughs.”
Tezich said city officials also need to encourage citizens to provide their ideas and input on important issues such as job creation, education, housing and public safety. She said she would work to create networks of community and neighborhood groups in the 5th District and throughout the city to foster input from residents.
“I’m very much available,” she said. “People have a lot of good ideas. They’re interested in their community and want to be a part of it.”
Republican: David Varner
-- 62 years old
-- Dentist, owner of Ireland Road Dental Office
-- B.S. biology, Indiana University Bloomington; DDS, Indiana University Indianapolis
-- City councilman since 1996
Varner is “a minority of one” as the only Republican on the Common Council.
City spending is one of his top concerns and an area he said needs more scrutiny and sunshine. “There’s a lot of money available,” he said. “Just how that money is spent has been a concern.”
Varner also is a member of the South Bend Redevelopment Commission, which decides how to spend revenue accrued in the city’s tax increment finance districts.
He said he would like to see TIF revenue used to improve things in the 5th District. One potential project, he said, would be turning the site of the old Scottsdale pool into a public park.
Varner also is a member of the Century Center Board of Managers, which oversees the convention center.