FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The four Republican candidates looking to take a seat in the Indiana Senate have been busy this weekend meeting voters. After Saturday, there’s only 10 more days until the May primary, and all the candidates said they realized it’s coming down to crunch time.
With beautiful weather Saturday, Liz Brown, Ken Fries, Jeff Snyder, and Darren Vogt were all out meeting voters and answering questions. None of the candidates said the pressure has gotten to them yet.
“No, not pressure, but more excitement,” Brown said, while walking around the La Cabreah addition near Dupont Road. “When somebody says, ‘yes, we’re voting for you,’ that just spurs you on even more.”
Fries agreed that excitement has been what he’s felt most. “It’s been exciting the whole time, but as it gets closer it gets more and more exciting,” he said.
Vogt started his morning by walking through some neighborhoods around Snider High School.
“Whether it’s through evening meetings at their homes or walking neighborhoods, we’ll just continue to do that as long as we can, until that 11th hour is over and it’s time to vote,” Vogt, who currently sits on the Allen County Council, said.
Snyder began his Saturday morning by voting at the Ed Rousseau building downtown.
“At this point in time, the big thing is just to get out there and meet voters,” Snyder said. “See how many people I can introduce myself to and let them know what I’m all about, and listen to their issues and concerns.”
Snyder, who has never run for an elected position, said things have been going well and people in his corner have been telling him he’s the change voters have been looking for.
“The message we’re taking to everyone is the fact that we are a business person,” Snyder said. “We are very grounded in our process and our thought process. Quite honestly, I think the community is ready for that change. Someone who is not firmly grounded in procedures and the same old past campaigns.”
The other three candidates all have experience as elected officials.
“The whole thing is to get out there and get people involved,” Fries, who is currently the Allen County Sheriff, said. “And we have to get them out and vote on May 6.”
Fries said he was looking to visit as many as 7,000 people over the weekend.
“Our numbers are great, and we just want to keep building on that,” Fries said. “We know it’s going to be a low turnout, what we really want to do is get out there and tell them how important their vote is. Let them know how many people have fought and died for this privilege that we have to vote. I think it’s very important to get out there and exercise that right.”
Brown, who has served on the Fort Wayne Council, said she planned to be out meeting voters every day until the primary.
“In a contested primary, every vote is going to count,” Brown said. “There’s nothing like meeting people face to face. We’ve met so many voters who said no one has ever asked for my vote before, and they appreciate the fact that we’re willing to go to the door and ask.”
While NewsChannel 15 followed each candidate, voters’ biggest topic surrounded education. Some asked about Common Core. Others asked about more discipline in schools, and a candidate’s view on school vouchers.
“I think people appreciate my education background,” Brown said. “That I’ve been a substitute teacher and I’m a teacher at Saint Francis. They appreciate I have the widest skills in that sense. And I’m really going to be prepared to work day one.”
Vogt also said he was taking time to make sure voters knew his background.
“I tell them I’m well rounded in the political scene and understand how government works,” Vogt said. “I understand business and how business works, and how it has to invest in itself, and how we have to keep regulations low. Education is a strong point for me because I volunteer in the classroom and have four kids in the public school system.”
“The pro-life issue has become the most important issue in the race,” Brown said. “When they hear I’ve been the only candidate endorsed by Right to Life that’s been a deciding factor with the people I’ve met.”
Voters can hear more from all four candidates and Jack Morris, who is running for the seat with the Democrat party, this coming week on First News. NewsChannel 15’s Rod Hissong will interview one candidate each day.
Here is the schedule:
- Monday – Darren Vogt (R)
- Tuesday – Jeff Snyder (R)
- Wednesday – Liz Brown (R)
- Thursday – Ken Fries (R)
- Friday – Jack Morris (D)