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Sheriff Fries joins fray for Wyss seat

Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries announced Thursday he will seek the Republican nomination for the District 15 state Senate seat in the 2014 primary election.

Sen. Tom Wyss, R-Fort Wayne, has held the post since 1985 and is not seeking re-election.

“I’m not done making a difference; there’s more I can do,” said Fries, who is prohibited from running for sheriff again when his second term ends in 2014.

He also announced that former County Council member and mayoral candidate Paula Hughes will be his campaign chair.

One of Fries’ priorities if elected is to halt the Common Core K-12 education standards and replace them with Indiana’s own guidelines for reading and math.

His other priorities include job creation and public safety. Fries specifically thinks the drug sentences are too light in the state’s sentencing reform package.

“What is our goal – to reduce crime or to save money? We should be able to work out a solution that does both,” he said.

Fries has a 32-year career in law enforcement, and he has held positions as patrolman, SWAT team member/commander, K-9 patrolman, corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, chief deputy and, since 2007, sheriff.

Other Republicans interested in running for Wyss’ open seat include Allen County Councilman Darren Vogt and mayoral candidate Liz Brown.

On the Democrat side, lifelong Fort Wayne resident Jack Morris has already announced he will run again. He unsuccessfully challenged Wyss in 2010.

Statehouse Bureau Chief Niki Kelly can be reached at nkelly@jg.net.

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