Political Notebook

  • Pence taps city native for key post
    A Bishop Dwenger High School graduate was one of four deputy chiefs of staff tapped by Gov. Mike Pence last week. Sean Keefer will serve as deputy chief of staff of executive branch agencies.
  • Messer wants GOP leadership position
    Another Hoosier seeks a leadership post with the U.S. House Republican caucus.
  • Lugar Series taking applications
    The Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series, a political leadership development course for Republican women, is taking applications for its next class until Aug. 1.

Wyss gets 2014 primary opponent

Fort Wayne Republican Sen. Tom Wyss may not be on the ballot this year but re-election is on his mind.

That's because Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries has made no secret about his plans to challenge Wyss in the 2014 Republican primary for the Senate District 15 seat.

"The great thing about America is that anyone can run for a position and the voters get to decide who they want," Fries said. "I'm not one to stand back and say, 'Oh well, someone else is in the job.'"

Wyss has served Fort Wayne in the Senate since he was appointed in 1985. He has been re-elected seven times and has rarely -- if ever -- had primary opposition.

Fries is limited from serving a third term as sheriff and his tenure ends in 2014.

"Kenny Fries is telling everyone that he is going to run," Wyss said. "Even if I had decided I wasn't going to go, that is enough incentive for me to want to run again."

Wyss has been a moderate Republican voice in the Senate, which has been moving further to the right. He specializes in public safety, homeland security and transportation issues.

Fries said there are state issues he wants to work on as a senator, including 911 funding and rising health care costs of inmates.

"I would stay if they allowed me," he said. "I need to find something else that challenges me and serves the state."

To contact Niki Kelly, email her at nkelly@jg.net or follow her on Twitter @nkellyatJG.