Meet The Candidates for State Senate and House


Published 03/18 2014 10:22PM

Updated 03/19 2014 08:21AM

In just over a month, people across the region will hit the polls in this year's upcoming primary elections.

And already, many partisan races are heating up in Indiana and Ohio.

Right here in Allen County, five candidates are shooting for the vacant Indiana State Senate seat in District 15, and three are vying for the Indiana State House District 84 spot.

Local advocacy group Fort Wayne 9-12 held a public discussion with those candidates.

People were packed in to the Classic Cafe in north Fort Wayne to hear what they had to say.

It's the first time these candidates have come together to answer your questions and debate each other in several key Indiana state races.

Indiana State Senate District 15- which covers north Fort Wayne, downtown, and parts of south city is the seat vacated by the retiring Senator Thomas Wyss.

Four Republicans are battling to fill his spot.

First is current Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries.

"We're over taxed, we're over regulated, and we're over legislated. So i want to get back to the core basics that we have to pay attention to- education, criminal justice, and infrastructure,” Fries says.

Business owner Jeff Snyder.

"Senator Wyss and I have known each other for many, many years. A lot of my involvement I work in the vending industry, so a lot of my involvement with Senator Wyss, in working for the people of the state and the district has been in an advocacy mode,” Snyder says.

Allen County Council President Darrin Vogt who sent his campaign manager Cody Reynolds, because of prior commitments.

"And he wants to create a pro-business environment in which government gets out of the way through lower taxes and less regulation. Kind of like the economy we have in Fort Wayne where it attracts businesses,” Reynolds says of Vogt.

And former City Councilmember Liz Brown.

"I think it's important to understand how things are funded, where your tax dollars are spent, who spends them, and how wisely they're being spent,” says Brown.

Each candidate had four minutes to speak, then a half hour answering questions from you- questions about policy to personal belief.

They did the same process for the candidates for State House District 84.
District 84 covers north and northeast Fort Wayne, and the incumbent, State Representative Bob Morris, has held the seat since 2010.

"This year we passed a very interesting piece of legislation which is in regards to business personal property tax exemptions, so we're trying to get more money back to the businesses, and to spur job growth,” Morris says.

His republican challenger in the primary is Michael Barranda.

"Can he really stand on positions and really lead the delegation, and lead the people of our community?... I want to bring a common-sense approach and really represent the people of the district, that's one,” Barranda says.
They'll meet on the May Sixth ballot.

Two candidates were not at today's event.

The Fort Wayne 9-12 group invited State Senate Democratic candidate Jack Morris, and State House Democratic candidate Fred Haigh, and officials with the group said they declined the invitation.

Next Tuesday evening, the group is hosting another meet and greet event at the Classic Café- this time featuring candidates from State House races for Districts 83 and 85.

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