Many would say finding politicians at a fish fry is as easy as, well shooting fish in a barrel.
Friday night that certainly proved to be true. Platefuls of fish and spoonfuls of coleslaw were served up alongside a big helping of campaigning.
Mayoral hopefuls Pete Buttigieg and Ryan Dvorak were out speaking with folks at St. Adalberts. Mike Hamann braved the rain and went door to door talking with some 400 South Bend residents, and Barrett Berry spent his evening visiting local Elk Lodges.
Buttigieg said for him, going to the fish fries are about hearing what the people have to say. “People seem to be really eager for a fresh start for our city,” he said. “It's been very encouraging for me. People aren't shy to give you a piece of their mind.”
Dvorak said he won’t talk with anyone at the fries who doesn’t want to speak. “Eating is a lot more important than chatting to a candidate,” he joked. “… But there are a lot of people that really do want to talk about what they want to be able to get off their chest,” he said.
Aside from some great food, South Bend residents say the fish fries are a great place to learn more about the candidates, before making that all important decision of who to vote for. “It gives you more opportunities to hear from them,” resident Peg Swadener said at St. Adalberts. “My job is from seven in the morning till seven at night, and I don't always get to catch the news. So if I can see them out about town when I'm out, then I get a little bit of an idea of what they're about.”
Most residents NewsCenter 16 spoke with at the fish fries said they’re still trying to gather information about the candidates and aren’t set in any decision yet. Some of people’s main concerns: jobs, schools, and the welfare of the local economy.