ALLEN COUNTY (21Alive) -- A top law enforcement officer in Allen County is ready to take a shot at a job in the Indiana State Legislature.
It is the first big news of the 2014 election season.
Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries had said before he was probably going to run for an open seat in the state senate.
Now the question is, can he convince voters he's a good fit for a very different political job.
" Some people are going to try to paint me as a one trick pony, I'm the sheriff, I know public safety. Yes, I know public safety probably better than anybody else running, but I also know jobs," said Fries, who has 32 years in law enforcement.
This day, he set his police uniform aside.
In announcing his candidacy for the District 15 State Senate seat, he spoke with confidence, not about crime fighting, but about why he thinks we should shun Common Core education standards.
" If people start looking into how Common Core was developed in Washington, this is nothing more than nationalization of education in the state of Indiana and we don't need it."
Fries pressed his credentials in job creation, citing a small business venture he and a colleague entered into years ago.
Fries says they did it without government money, and that regular folks could do better with job creation if government got out of the way.
One of his opponents is former Ft. Wayne councilwoman Liz Brown, who says that job, plus her current job teaching at the University of St. Francis, make her the well-rounded choice for voters.
" I've written legislation, I've worked on the budgets, and of course I have an educational background in terms of what we need for our young people to get jobs," Brown said.
Long-time senator Tom Wyss will finish his term next year, then retire, creating the open seat.
Allen County Council President Darren Vogt is also in the running, and believes his years in public service and the private insurance field makes him well suited to follow in Wyss' footsteps.
" Understanding local government, understanding how the taxes work, understanding the big picture, (I want to) take that down to the Statehouse and continue what he's done as a state senator, so I'm looking forward to it," Vogt said.
Fries will not leave his sheriff's post early.
He'll run for state senate next year, while finishing up his last year as sheriff.
Long-time Allen County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Dave Gladieux is among those expected to try in 2014 to succeed Fries as sheriff.
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