FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) With the primary election less than two weeks away, candidates for state representative are outlining their agenda for Northeast Indiana. Kendallville native, Michael Barranda is challenging incumbent Bob Morris in the Republican primary on May 6th.
Barranda admitted that running wasn’t even in his radar until a couple of years ago. He said the seat needs to be filled by someone who is more effective. Barranda said that Morris couldn’t get a hearing for any of his proposed bills.
“For a party that has a super majority and to not be able to be heard by your peers, really speaks to the ineffectiveness of that seat right now,” said Barranda.
“Quite a few bills that I proposed actually are picked up and put in other pieces of legislation. When you file a piece of legislation, all bills may not get a hearing, a number of my bills did get a hearing,” said Morris.
Morris said one of those bills will allow the Amish to get a state identification card without having their picture taken since that’s against their religious beliefs.
Other items include funding for IPFW.
“Their growth has exploded over the past decade and to make sure that they can continue to grow and continue to serve students around the Fort Wayne area,” said Morris.
Starting a fund for the National Guard is also on his list.
“99% of the funding comes from the federal government. I want to ensure that Hoosiers are protected for years to come. Right now, there’s about $12 million a year that comes out of a state treasury,” said Morris.
If elected, Barranda said he’d work to strengthen our local education system and focusing on economic development.
However, he said the single biggest challenge is staying focused on Northeast Indiana.
“There’s a lot of money down there and with out question, I’m going to be a champion for northeast Indiana to make sure that the second-largest city in the state isn’t that forgotten city,” said Barranda.
Barranda said Morris’ opinion about honoring the Girl Scouts two years ago adds to his reasons to run.
“It’s probably played a role in rep Morris’ ineffectiveness as a Republican to get a hearing on any of the ten bills that he’s introduced since he’s made those comments,” said Barranda.
“I do not always hit my green button and I hit my red button quite frequently. I believe that’s what the people that elect me want me to go down there, to carry their voice,” said Morris.